Several organizations in North Carolina are assisting pets who are suffering from the cold outside.
(AP) — ASTONIA, N.C. — Pets in Gaston County in need of shelter during the severe winter months can now receive assistance.
Several Gaston County organizations have banded together under the banner of "No Cold Pets-Gaston to supply households with free hand-built wooden dog and cat homes.
The Gaston Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic, Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement, and Gastonia's AJ's Lawn and Landscaping have teamed up to build and distribute over a dozen free dog and cat houses to area pet owners.
Terry Kenny, a Gastonia attorney who helps organize the spay/neuter clinic, stated, We have been coordinating since the beginning of November, basically trying to offer individuals in need with a sanctuary for their pet.
Melissa and AJ Lawing were able to purchase supplies and lumber for their pet shelters at their East Ozark Avenue company thanks to funding granted by Gastonia's JDP Detailing. JDP Detailing contributes $50 to each shelter created.
The Animal Care and Enforcement Division and Gaston County Police work together to guarantee that the shelters are used by the pet owners who need it the most.
We usually get a call for service from a public who reports an animal that appears to be in distress. Capt. Reid Rollins stated, We go out and look at it from a cruelty standpoint and try to teach them about how to properly care for their pet.
Once we detect a need, we advise them of several services, like pet cottages, that they may use to properly care for their pets." After that, depending on how terrible the case was previously, we stay in touch and follow up with the pet owners, Rollins added.
Ashly Hernandez of Gastonia has five dogs outside, but she is unable to provide shelter for them all.
I could only afford three pet houses for them," she explained, "and one of them was lost in a storm a few months ago. I've been out of work for three months, and with four daughters to look after, I couldn't find another employment.
Kenny responded to Hernandez's request for help on social media. All four of the family's Huskies, as well as a mixed Labrador, may now be protected from the elements.
I owe them a debt of gratitude. They not only gave me the pet houses, but they also gave me some pet straw,Hernandez said.
The Lawings have erected almost 200 dog shelters since 2019. Pet food and straw from their business are also donated for pet bedding.
The need for these buildings is mainly during the winter, Kenny explained. By having extra people to help us with our objective, we hope to be able to continue to build as many houses as we can before the surge of need comes.
Volunteers have even been brought in as a result of the agreement to assist with the construction.
Many others have been by to help build these houses, including Debby Suggs, who has built 20 houses on her own, and Todd Davis, who is presently pursuing his Eagle Scout status. They helped and even contributed some money to help with the cost of materials and other necessities, Kenny explained.
Kenny can be reached at 704-868-4673 for anyone interested in helping build houses or donating. Call Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement at 704-922-8677 or email Rollins at email@example.com to request a pet house.