Huntsville organizations helping those outside stay warm during cold weather

One church is welcoming the homeless inside their warming shelter. Another organization is providing straw for outside dogs.

Posted: Jan 19, 2019 5:52 PM
Updated: Jan 19, 2019 6:38 PM

With a cold blast of weather headed our way, organizations all over the Tennessee Valley are making sure people who are homeless and their pets have a warm place to stay tonight.

"We've had a stream of people come through today and all week to provide donations," said Larry Jess.

Volunteers at Grateful Life Community Church said they plan to close the warming center on Monday, but they'll open again if temperatures drop below freezing for 24 consecutive hours.

"Come in out of the cold, eat food, have a warm bed and relax," Jess said.

The center will hold up to 70 people. They'll even allow people to bring in their pets. People have been stopping by all week donating blankets and food, but they're still in need of help.

"We can use hygiene products, things like toothpaste and deodorant." Jess said.

Lisa Shedd and other volunteers with 'Helping Animals Without Shelter' (HAWS) are also making sure outside animals are warm by putting straw in their dog houses.

"Warm bedding with outdoor pets are not blankets or towels. Because they can get wet, freeze and mold, so we put dry wheat straw and dry it full," said Lisa Shedd.

Shedd said dogs dehydrate easily in the cold weather. It's also important to place the dog house on a pallet with straw around it and it's important for the dog houses to face away in the north wind.

"It's really sad. You'll have a dog stuck up against the tree because it's trying to stay dry in the rain," Jess said.

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