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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

A recent experience prompted me to spread awareness about another danger to animals trying to survive outside in frigid weather: frozen bedding.

This summer, my father built an enclosed window box for my cats, providing them with a safe space to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors. I planned to dis­mantle it for the season, but—much to my surprise—they continued to delight in it de­spite the winter chill.

When I went to check on the blanket, I placed in there for them, I discovered it had frozen into a solid mass. The seemingly dry air con­tained enough moisture for the fabric to ab­sorb, resulting in an icy, unsafe window box floor.

Though my cats are only allowed outdoors in their window box, other cats and dogs who are forced to live outside during cold winter months face frostbite, hypothermia, and death when the temperatures drop. No animals de­serve to be chained, penned, or banished to exist outside, but for those who are, the only bedding material that should be used is straw. Straw is non-absorbent, will not freeze, and can provide much-needed insulation for animals simply trying to survive.

Please, if you see an animal outside without adequate shelter or with frozen or empty food or water bowls, note the exact location and alert local law-enforcement authorities immediately. Your call could prevent animals from freezing to death.

Sincerely,

Melissa Rae Sanger, LVT
The PETA Foundation

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