Centralia giving free straw to help pet owners keep their animals warm

strawCENTRALIA — City Manager Dan Ramey stated that the city will continue their 3 year program of giving free bales of straw to pet owners, if needed, to help keep pets safe and warm.

Straw may be picked up at the Animal Shelter, located at 846 Woods Lane or the pet owner may contact Animal Control Officer, Bobby Patton at: 618-335-5471 and he will deliver it to the pet owner at no charge.

Anyone needing a dog house or knowing of an animal in distress should contact Animal Control Officer, Bobby Patton to ensure the animal’s safety.

The City would like to remind residents of some Cold Weather Safety Tips:

1. Outside dogs should be brought inside during extreme cold weather. But, when pets are outside, owners should provide pets with a house that is secure from air leaks and has a floor that is off the ground to avoid water coming into the house.

2. Dog & Cat houses should have significant bedding (straw) put into the dog/cat house to allow the animal to lay in to keep warm

3. Make sure your pet always has access to water. Especially if you have any pets living outside, it’s important to make sure that their water source doesn’t freeze over. You may have to change/add water to bowls, at least twice a day, to avoid the dog becoming dehydrated.

4. Don’t leave your pet outdoors roaming unattended. If your pet does go outdoors, make sure they are wearing their ID tags. Pets can become disoriented outdoors, during snow storms, and get lost.

5. Check your pet’s paws for ice and salt. Clean your pet’s paws after a walk outside. Ice salt can be toxic if ingested.

6. Monitor your pet’s diet. Dogs may spend more calories in the colder months. Animal’s bodies expend energy to keep warm in the cold. You may need to increase your pet’s daily amount of food to compensate for this.