The Star-Herald

Santa Paws is coming to town

Well, it’s that time of year again when pets’ tails start waggin’ in anticipation of greeting Santa Paws at The Central Aroostook Humane Society.  

Santa will be making his appearance on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  We hope you will plan to stop by and bring your pet and also your family; Santa really loves to have the kids and adults included in the photo. For a minimal donation, you can enjoy some wonderful memories.  Light refreshments will be provided.

We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  As beautiful as the holiday was, we experienced some record cold temperatures for November.  A record amount of snowfall for this time of year has fallen as well. With temperatures hovering around zero and the chill factor hitting well below zero, my thoughts always go to the animals that have to endure such dangerous weather. Whether it is pets or farm animals or even the animals in the wild, my heart is heavy thinking of how they can manage to survive when the cold is so very dangerous.  We always appreciate when WAGM will warn of temperatures that are bone chilling and Ted will always tell everyone, “Pets inside.”

It is important to remember that when these kind of temperatures hit, we all should be mindful of not only our four-legged friends, but for neighbors and relatives who may not be able to cope with this kind of cold.  Please check on those that could be at risk.

The best prescription for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time.

Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter, because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.  Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, which may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

These tips can help to make the winters much more enjoyable for our furry family members.

Remember to stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society this Saturday for pictures with Santa Paws, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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