Help is out there to take care of your outside pet during the winter months.

Help is out there to take care of your outside pet during the winter months.

With the cold weather now officially here, people have started swapping out their shorts for scarves and moving the thermostat from cool to heat.

As our thoughts begin to head toward the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, sometimes that sweet dog who lives outside gets lost in the commotion.

Just as we get cold and hot in the seasons, so does your dog. It is important to keep them in your thoughts and actions especially since they rely on their owners to assure their comfort. It can truly mean a life of misery and even death if they are not given the proper shelter.

The local humane society has stepped up its mission to assure all dogs living outside in Logan County have proper shelter and that the area they live in is free from standing water.

The society started informing the community at the end of October that all outside dogs needed to have a dog house capable of keeping them out of the wind and rain.

"If you have a dog tied outside, you have to make sure they are not standing in water," said Amanda Castile, Director of the Logan County Humane Society. "Also, make sure your dog's house is off the ground a few inches. You can use bricks, blocks or even pallets to get it off the ground." Another good idea is to equip the house door with a flap to keep out drafts

Blankets or hay are not proper bedding choices for an outside dog. Straw is warmer than hay so it makes better bedding, but nothing is warm if it is wet. Your cleaning schedule needs to be scrupulous in the winter.

Castile says a lot of pet owners believe that comforters and blankets are suitable bedding with good intentions. However, they are not adequate because of rain, dew, and frost which cause moisture that becomes trapped in the blanket. When temperatures drop, they freeze. "Although it may look fine, the blankets are frozen and the animals are laying on top of them," said Castile.

The director adds that if you see a dog without a proper dog house to keep the elements out or if you see a dog tied in standing water, please call and report it to dispatch at 270-726-4911. "The call has to be made through dispatch not the shelter in order for animal control to be able to go out and investigate," Castile said.

Another nonprofit animal advocate in Logan County is Best Friends Animal Rescue (BFAR).

BFAR is a nonprofit organization that supplies foster care for the homeless animals in Logan County until a permanent home can be found. The group also provides necessary staples to the community's animals such as straw, food, shelter, and medical care if a pet owner is in need. The group can do this by accepting donations, as well as using their own funds to help.

Belinda Humphrey and her friend Linda Mackey Williams began their crusade around eight years ago by trying to make sure all dogs were in a warm place for the winter. The "best friends" had worked previously for the welfare of animals, and found it would be helpful if they hit the streets and roads of the community to search for those in need of straw. Today, BFAR is a thriving rescue thanks to several volunteers including Rebecca Wright, Jared and Rosie Latham, and Charlie and Mary Nell Robinson, who all stepped up to help.

"We are in need of donated dog houses," said Humphrey. "We did a fundraiser for straw and the community truly came through for the needy animals and for now we have plenty. Anyone in need of a house or straw and can't afford to buy it can call us at 270-772-2919 or 270-847-8411." The houses can be new or used.

BFAR can pick up any donation or it can be dropped to any of the members. This means there is really no reason why an outside dog in Logan County can't have adequate shelter.

BFAR is also advocating for the community to keep their eyes open for animals needing shelter and warmth. It is up to us all to help each other and assure the community's animals are being provided with life-sustaining needs.