Even though stray animals are protected by their thick skin and warm fur, in the absence of shelter they can still suffer from frostbite or hypothermia, especially in areas where the winter becomes extreme.
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Street conditions are really severe: it is almost impossible, to find food, water, and warm place for a night. Therefore any people’s help improves the animals’ chances of survival.
IKEA welcomes stray dogs
The famous chain of home-oriented stores, IKEA, did an incredible thing in one of its branches in Italy: it opened its door to street dogs to enjoy the warmth and a soft place to rest.
One of the clients said she was pleasantly surprised to see a group of pooches resting on a carpet.
Martine Taccia said in an interview with The Dodo:
My reaction was pure amazement. It is not a common thing. The dogs receive daily food and pampering from IKEA's employees and customers. Some dogs have even found a family, going home with customers.
Touched by the unusual experience, Martine decided to record a video and share it on social networks. Unsurprisingly, it immediately went viral:
Beppe Liotta, another customer of the store, also commented:
I felt a feeling of deep tenderness and great happiness in seeing dogs crouched in the exhibition space at the entrance of the IKEA.
It isn’t the first time IKEA has supported animal welfare. The company once collaborated with Home For Hope in a campaign to encourage the adoption of pets. The customers felt really delighted about this.
How to protect animals from the cold
It is likely that you have seen some dogs and cats living on the streets. With the cold weather approaching, you may feel the need to help. Here are some recommendations:
Look for help
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The first thing you should do when you see a homeless animal is to notify the local authorities. Most animal shelters try to pick up stray dogs before the cold arrives. However, it may take several days or weeks to find all of them.
Take it home
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If you can care for an animal on the long-term and feel safe doing so, you might consider bringing one home. Of course, don’t forget to visit a veterinarian who can evaluate its health condition.
Provide it a shelter
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If taking the animal home isn’t an option, you can help it survive the cold by designing a shelter, like a heavy cardboard box lined with straw. Don’t use towels or blankets, as they can get wet in a storm and freeze.
Food and water
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Providing street animals with fresh food and clean water can help them survive the cold. A well-fed animal is also better prepared to fight diseases and infections.
Unfortunately, we can’t save all the stray dogs and cats in the world. However, with a little effort and compassion, together, we can help a lot of them survive the harsh weather conditions.
Make the severe winter less difficult for the poor homeless animals, giving them a glimpse of hope like IKEA has.
What about you? Do you help stray animals? Have you ever let them in not to let them die on the street? Share your experience in the comments.