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Anchorage organization helps dogs during cold nights

By Bonney Bowman 9:05 AM December 18, 2013

The group works with anyone who needs help keeping their dog warm

ANCHORAGE -One Anchorage organization is working with dog owners to make sure every dog living in Alaska has a warm place to call home.

It’s called Straw for Dogs.

Victoria Wendell said she needed help when her husky, Hoss, walked into her yard two years ago and never left.

“I couldn’t even find him a decent doghouse,” Wendell said. ” It really concerned me when I’m at work eight, nine hours a day that he chooses to be out and he really doesn’t have any protection.”

Wendell said she called Straw for Dogs and volunteer Metis Riley came to the rescue.

“We start with the basics such as straw, a good doghouse which in Alaska is a heavy-duty, insulated wooden doghouse,” Riley said.

The nonprofit provides dog owners a house and straw. Volunteers will also talk to owners about  fresh water issues and winter safety.

“Blankets and towels get wet and freeze immediately from the condensation on the pet’s breath or even the snow coming in on their fur, so we don’t use blankets or towels ever,” Riley said.

However, even a good doghouse won’t protect a pet when it’s dangerously cold, she said.

“Try your garage, try your kitchen, try crate training,” Riley said. “There’s a lot of resources that would help bring the dog in on really cold days so the dog can get some relief.”

Wendell said Hoss’s quality of life has improved and he is happy.

To fill out an application or learn more about Straw for Dogs, click here.

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