It goes without saying that most of us want to create a safe place for our pets to live. A place where they get fed, are loved, and never have to worry about weathering the outside world alone.
We see time and time again, however, the tragedies that pets can go through due to the negligence of the owner. This, in turn, leaves their lives and well-being up to the people who give their life’s work to rescue them.
A Waterloo, Iowa, pup named Elsa had been one of these neglected pets when the Cedar Bend Humane Society found her alone and in need of every comfort a stable home could provide.
She had been chained inside a metal shed in the owner’s backyard, where she had been left to fend off the harsh winter alone.
Elsa’s condition was so bad, in fact, that rescuers say she was found nearly frozen — and so underweight — to the point that she could barely stand. Those at the shelter believed it was great timing, as they didn’t think she would have survived if she hadn’t been rescued when she was.
Upon taking her back to be cared for, rescuers realized that Elsa was suffering from hypothermia as frostbite attacked portions of her tail, ears and paws.
“When they took her temperature, her body temperature didn’t even register on the thermometer,” said a vet at the shelter.
However, even with how bad her condition was, Elsa slowly began making a comeback.
Back to her usual happy-go-lucky self, Elsa has been put up for adoption by the center, where the humane society will be taking applications for those interested in giving her a “forever home.”
Yet, the shelter admits that stories like Elsa’s are far too common. They have also recently found cats and other pets throughout the area with frostbite and suffering from malnutrition.
It’s a stark reminder, the shelter suggests, for people to keep a close eye on their pets — especially in sub-zero temperatures.
The staff gave other factors pet owners need to watch for during the cold winter months, including keeping them away from drafts, watching for frostbite, and noticing any different eating patterns. Another factor, they suggested, is to watch for cats who are searching for a warm place, which is oftentimes beneath a car.
“During cold weather, cats may seek warm shelter under your car,” the staff wrote on Facebook. “They like to crawl up by the engine where it is warm.”
The staff added that there are several ways to check, including lifting the hood of the car or honking the horn enough to “frighten a cat out.”
All in all, however, staff urge cautious pet owners to heed common sense.
“If you need a coat,” the vet said, “then they need some sort of protection from the cold.”
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