MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The ice and freezing temperatures hanging over the Mid-South this week are creating some deadly conditions for pets left outside.
All 4s Dog Rescue is doing its best to get as many dogs as possible out of the cold.
“The city does require all dogs to have adequate shelter and food and water, and they encourage you to insulate the dog house,” said founder Suzy Hollenbach. “They are legally required to have shelter.”
Hollenbach said they have been giving away crates to encourage dog owners to bring their pets inside their homes. The group has also been handing out dog houses and making sure all outdoor shelters are insulated with hay.
“It keeps them warm and protects their paws from the snow and slush,” she said. “They burrow under the straw and curl up, and the igloos kind of help hold their body heat in, but in these temperatures, even an igloo, it’s oftentimes not enough.”
We watched four dogs in the backyard of a South Memphis home jump into a small shed for shelter as soon as the animals saw the hay inside.
“They are freezing. So, the minute they see straw, they’ll stand on the entire bale before we get it spread out. It’s so sad,” said Hollenbach
Hollenbach said pit bulls, one of the most common dog breeds in Memphis, are most at risk when the temperature plummets because they don’t have an undercoat to keep them warm.
She said if your dog is shivering, it’s a sign they are having trouble controlling their body temperature.
“They need to be brought inside because they are already struggling,” Hollenbach said.
Over the last few days, the rescue group has visited more than fifty homes and said most pet owners are grateful for the help. However, Hollenbach said they would call animal control if they saw a dog struggling and couldn’t find the owner.
She said they will pass out straws until they run out, but ultimately, the safest place for a pet is inside with you.
If you want to help All 4s Rescue League as a foster, adopter, volunteer, or wish to donate, click here. If you need help with your dog or see a dog in need, you can email the group or call (901)-870-4921.