MHS Offering Free Straw - A Potentially Life Saving Provision - For Dogs Left Outdoors
Now Available at MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care
It’s a winter scene that is neither beautiful nor rare: a dog chained outside with little or no shelter from the cold.
While the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) strongly encourages that pets live indoors year-round, many are still subjected to the harsh extremes of winter weather without the proper provisions. In such conditions, it is basic necessities such as food, water, shelter and straw that can make the difference between life and death.
As a supplement to an appropriate dog house, fresh straw for bedding is a critical component to provide warmth and insulation.
The Michigan Humane Society is now distributing free straw at its Detroit Center for Animal Care, located at 7401 Chrysler Drive (313-872-3400). Straw can be picked up any time during adoption center hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Michigan state law requires proper shelter for dogs who must remain outdoors for any length of time.
Adequate shelter for dogs, as defined by state law, means a well-built, insulated, slant-roofed dog house. The interior should be just large enough for the dog to stand and to lie down comfortably. It should be slightly elevated from the ground for air circulation. The door should face away from prevailing winds and have a protective flap to eliminate drafts. Clean, dry straw should be provided for bedding rather than towels, rugs or blankets which absorb moisture and freeze.
Lack of proper care or shelter can result in misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, carrying a sentence of up to 93 days in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, community service and loss of pet ownership for a specified amount of time.
To report pets left outside without proper shelter in the MHS service area of Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park, call the MHS Cruelty Hotline at 313-872-3401. In other areas, contact the local animal control or police department.
For more information on reporting animal cruelty, visit www.michiganhumane.org/Cruelty.