Local animal shelter offers free straw bales during cold weather

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As temperatures draw into the freezing range, pet owners are taking extra precautions into their furry friends’ safety.

The Quad City Animal Welfare Center (QCAWC) offered free straw bales for outdoor pets.

According to a spokesperson from QCAWC, outdoor pets need a draft free and waterproof shelter to sleep in. It is advised that the space be large enough for them to stand and lie down in, but small enough to hold their body heat. Good insulation materials are straw or cedar shavings for the floor and waterproof burlap or heavy plastic for the door.

QCAWC said it’s important to check your pet’s water several times per day to ensure it has not frozen over. Animals need more food during the winter to generate extra heat for warmth.

Pet owners are advised to contact a veterinarian if it appears your pet has gotten frostbite or hypothermia. Frostbite is described as pale, gray skin or skin that is cold and hard, as well as tissue that appears red when it thaws. Hypothermia is described as violent shivering and slow and shallow breathing.

Pet owners can pick-up the bales at 724 West 2nd Ave. in Milan. The QCAWC’s number is 309-787-6830.