Thus far the predictions for a brutally harsh winter have been dead accurate, and I wouldn't be doing all I can to save these strays if I didn't say we need your help. The first official day of winter hasn't even arrived, yet we have already been hit hard with sleet, snow accumulation, and single digit temperatures - and another wave of weather is on its way as I write this. There are few things more treacherous and unforgiving to a homeless dog or cat than long sustained periods of frigid cold. I am praying that you and the rest of the Stray Rescue family are able to dig just a little deeper this holiday season. Every bit counts. Every bit helps save lives.
It is heart wrenching to watch “Man’s Best Friend” doing what little they can to survive on the streets without us. Unfortunately, this isn’t something they are equipped to do, especially in winter. Many shivering on the streets have frost bitten paws, which makes scavenging for food painful and incredibly difficult. Inside abandoned, drafty houses we often find dogs huddled together in an effort to stay warm. Tragically, we all-too-often find dogs frozen to death too. Many are left weak and emaciated from surviving through summer and fall, and it will take a miracle for them not to meet the same fate. Dehydration, which is usually thought of as a summer time danger, is very common during these frigid months. When temperatures hover below the freezing mark as they are now, there is literally nothing for them to drink. All available drinking water turns to ice.
These pictures and video were taken on one of our normal feeding routes. As a rescuer, one of the hardest things to witness is when dogs you become familiar with on a particular route slowly deteriorate before your eyes as they try their best to endure the merciless cold. We rescue all we can while operating on depleted funds with a full shelter, and get the most critical cases out of the elements. It is particularly hard to leave a comparatively healthy looking pack behind that, for the time being, appears to be in fair shape. Unfortunately, it will be many months before winter loosens its grip, and I know the toll it will take all too well.
There is a way for everyone to help during this critical time, ensuring that we can continue to rescue as many from the glacial streets as possible. You can make a direct impact by donating to The Stracks Fund, our emergency medical fund, by clicking on the icon at the bottom of this page. If possible, open your heart and home to a shelter dog as a foster parent - you can learn more by clicking here. This not only enriches a dogs life, it essentially saves another life as we are able to get back on the streets and bring in another dog from the cold. In addition, volunteering at the shelter, donating supplies, and simply spreading the word to caring individuals who might not be familiar with the plight of these loving animals are all very big ways you can help. During this holiday season, when so much is focused around material things, please consider giving the gift of life. And experience the indescribable joy that comes with it.
When a dog or cat is finally safe in the rescue vehicle, they always look around the inside, taking in their surroundings. More often than not they lie down and give what I’ve come to refer to as the “Thank you.” That thank you comes in the form of a deep, exhausted sigh of relief signaling an understanding that their days of fear and misery are over. During this time of year, it's even more rewarding. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for giving the greatest give of all - compassion. We couldn't do it without you!
Happy Holidays, Love, and WOOF!