As Ned Stark would say, winter is coming

Katrina Owens
Lakeside Leader

Winter is slowly making its way round up here in northern Alberta, however it seems like other parts of Canada don’t yet need to brace for the cold.
I personally would take colder temperatures over hot and sticky ones any day of the week and I think people down in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) who are experiencing 40 degree weather might jump onboard too.
Fall and winter are two of the most beautiful seasons – there isn’t anything better than going for a walk on a nice crisp fall day or seeing fresh snow fall during the night. Granted, the dry bitterness of a December day is enough to make you want to stay in bed, but I believe most people could easily say it’s the best time of the year. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone, especially our furry friends who live outside and don’t have shelter from the elements. A -25 degree day for us is a great excuse to get outside and go skating, but for them it means having to endure frost bite or worse, death.
Not all of us are in the position to adopt or foster and that is completely okay but there are ways you can help without opening up your home; donations and education are two big ones. If you see a stray in the upcoming months, why not give a heads up to the animal shelter? Or you can always call your local animal control department. If reported early enough, perhaps a few lives can be spared and the cats/dogs can be saved via live trap.
Another way you’re able to help is fairly straightforward – if you see an animal freezing… bring it somewhere safe! If I hear about one more incident where an animal dies while waiting to be rescued, I dare say a fiery commentary will be in the works!
The Animal Rescue Committee of Slave Lake (ARC) is the closest shelter situated to us and is always accepting donations. It seems the trend of ARC is to always have high numbers of cats and kittens which is directly related to owners not spaying or neutering their pets. If you adopt through ARC, the friendly felines come with all up-to-date shots and if old enough also come fixed (if not old enough you receive a certificate to use at the local vet’s office).
In The Woods Animal Rescue is another non-profit organization made up by volunteers doing good work in the Peace River area.
I went up there with a trunk-load of supplies in the summer and had a real eye-opening experience – so many animals were there, dogs, cats, kittens, pigs, horses…you name it, they had it. Most of the residents were in deep need of some TLC and had been abandoned. In fact, while I was unloading my truck a bag of kittens were left by the entrance with no note or anything, just dropped like a sack of potatoes.

 

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