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Help a Cold Dog This Winter!

The following story was written by Scrappy the dog (well, by Keegan Baur, writing as Scrappy the dog).

A winter wonderland? Snow covers the ground, and freezing wind whips the trees. Many humans are cozily snuggled inside their homes, basking in the warm glow of Christmas tree lights, while the scent of freshly baked cookies wafts through the air and holiday music plays in the background.

But I don’t get to revel in any of these luxuries. Instead, I am tethered to a chain in the backyard. In perpetual solitary confinement, as minutes drag into days and weeks, I try to ignore the bitter cold. I huddle in my little doghouse, venturing out only when I need to relieve myself or quench my thirst by licking the mostly frozen block of water in my bowl. Some days they don’t feed me—I think this month, they’re cutting back on buying my food in order to save money to get a few gifts for the kids. But on the days that one of them does feed me, I can barely contain my excitement. I pull frantically at my heavy tether and jump up at my guardian’s legs. While she scolds and pushes me down, I usually knock over the meager contents of my dish, most of which mix in with the icy grass and snow. This will cost me later, but for a few minutes, I have her attention as she pats my head and scratches my ear, and during those fleeting moments, I feel a glimmer of joy.

But then she leaves, just as quickly as she came, and once again I’m all alone. I’m not complaining, though—this year I have my very own doghouse from PETA! Last year, I had only a chain and no protection at all from the elements. Some days were so cold that I couldn’t feel my own paws, and some nights were so unbearably freezing that it was difficult to breathe. I even got sick, but they weren’t able to take me to the veterinarian. I’m not really sure how I made it through that winter. But this year, it’s different. I have four walls and a roof over my head, where I can hide if I get scared. I have a little bed of straw that I can curl up in without shivering in wet, melted snow. Things may not be perfect, but I try to stay positive. I know there are other dogs out there who aren’t as lucky as I am—who don’t have a doghouse to keep them warm and safe. Those are the dogs I feel sorry for.

This winter, please do whatever you can to help cold, neglected dogs:

  • If you know of a “backyard dog,” try to convince the owners to let him or her indoors. Offer to take the pooch for walks, and bring treats and toys to him or her. Make sure that there is proper shelter and fresh water, and call the authorities if there isn’t.
  • Find out how to work with city or county legislators to ban chaining.
  • And if you have the resources, please consider being an “angel” for animals and sponsoring a doghouse so that one lucky pup will have a safe haven to call his or her own. Thanks to donations from compassionate people like you, PETA is able to deliver houses—along with toys, treats, and insulating straw bedding—to thousands of dogs in need.
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  • Animal At Heart says:

    Her are some Pet Safety tips for your cat/dog during the Winter months:

    Please read!…as it can be very helpful and even save lives.

  • donna says:

    Instead of people sending money for dog houses why does PETA not recruite volunteers in that particular city to donate or build house for their communitys? It would be more cost effective and take care of their citys and townships. I happen to agree with the poster before me….leaving an animal out in the snow with no food or water is pure neglect. Perhaps a “adopt an animal” volunteers could send food as well as shelter. In all my rescues I have never had (even the most neglectful person (s)) refused food for their animals. If its free they will take it!

  • samrat roy chowdhury says:

    Pls save the dog in winter

  • Jen Beagle says:

    I think what PETA is doing is amazing. I have contacted PETA with the same concerns about why these owners get away with keeping their dogs outside all year. Unfortunately there are no laws saying that they can’t. I made my donation taday for an entire dog house. Yes, it was a large amount of money but I made it my Christmas present to myself. I feel better knowing that I have done something and the dog is getting much more than just warmth. Thank you PETA!

  • carol says:

    I disagree with sending money for a dog house; if a chained up dog is the case, get the dog out of there and to a better life because the dog house issue isn’t the only problem….even reading about the ‘chained-dogs’ tells much more of the story: no clean water, food mixed with the elements, tipped food & water bowls and rarely any ‘visits’ from the ‘owners’. This is all neglect and abuse in my mind….RESCUE IS THE WORD – GET THEM OUR OF THERE!!!!!!

  • Dorid Jansen says:

    This problem is heartbreaking of course. Keep on putting presure on your government that chained should come to an end in a civilez country. This is physical and mental abuse. In my country Holland we have a political party for the protection of animals and nature and from this year we have animal cobs. Since november we can call 144 to report animals in need. It works! Not only because of the work they do, it also works preventative. In the meantime: thank you PETA for all your good work!

  • cattaz2 says:

    I would love to help a “backyard” dog, but the price of $245. a doghouse is hard to swallow. I KNOW you can build a house for way less money; $245. should provide 3 houses. I know lumber prices and this is a ridiculous amt of money for one house. Build them cheaper and I*’m in . Until then, I will help dogs in my commun9ty

  • Deanna says:

    No animal should be in a place where their needs are not being met. It’s straight up abuse. Remove the animals and give the person or person involved a fine. Our cities and towns need to step up and start holding these people accountable.

  • Tasha says:

    Our soon to be be new neighbors leave their dog chained up all day long, every day. I will be offering them a dog house that we have never used (our dogs have never been outdoor dogs). I hope they use it and I wish there was something I could do to make them keep the dog indoors! I can’t stand to see the poor guy like that. it’s freezing here!

  • marge says:

    Ignorance is the biggest killer.

  • DAT says:

    I agree with the others. The backyard animals should be taken away from the owners. That is animal abuse! Why have a dog chained up if you aren’t going to take care of it!!

  • Tia says:

    I’m all for helping these dogs, and I’m in favor of forced removal of the animals that are not being cared for! However, I’ve seen the dog houses that they build. There’s no way one costs anywhere near $265. Much of the cost must be going to other campaigns or admin costs. 🙁 If there is an initiative in Kansas City area, I’d love to get involved, but I need to know that 90% or more of my money is going to the intended cause.

  • Big Burd says:

    How do we find out about volunteering for the building and delivery of dog houses in my area?

  • Rhonda Brabbin says:

    Anyone who doesnt have the sense to bring their dog in out of the cold should not, by law, be able to have a dog! The same with the idiots who put a collar on a puppy and never buy it a new one when it grows up and it embeds into the dogs skin, i am so sick of morons being able to have animals and I cringe at thought of what so many of these poor creatures have to endure day after day. I wish God would remove every animal from planet earth and give them a cruelty free world to live in.

  • Lindsey says:

    MKS- That’s why I haven’t been able to donate either 🙁 Can’t afford $250+

  • Yvonne O'Neill Imperiale says:

    I agree with Lara. Dogs shouldn’t be with people like those.

  • Julie says:

    When I look at that picture you post it brings huge tears to my eyes – I wish I could take all these animals under my wing to protect them, feed them, keep them warm, give them big hugs and kisses – just love them all. ALL humans should go by this **Animals are not disposable, please love them for their whole entire life **. We as humans need to do more to protect the animals – take them from these evil human beings and never let these evil humans own any kind of animal ever. Just wondering is this dog in the picture still with that owner and if so WHY! Let us chain that owner up with no protection and see how they survive. Yes please help keep them warm and donate for a warm dog house.

  • melanie jane says:

    Yes, I have donated monies towards the building and supply of doghouses, however, I agree with ‘MKS’ that the quote to build one on the donation page at US$265 is extraordinarily high. I live in a small West Indian island where there are no bulk warehouses, large stores to buy competitively priced wood and materials, yet for my 9 rescue dogs, I have built all of them a gorgeous kennel/dog house to withstand all weather, incl tropical storms and worse, for at least a third of that price. It is very off-putting if not questionable that PETA requires so much money to build a doghouse, and maybe they at least need to account for how they reached this very high figure, unless it’s for high labour costs as well perhaps?!

  • NancyM says:

    I was one of the stupid people who chained my dog because I didn’t know any better. I now try to educate those who aren’t aware of the harm they are doing to a beloved pet. I will always feel guilty for past mistakes, but instead of wallowing in guilt I use it as an incentive to do more. My website, has links to PETA and displays their press releases. My home is shared with 3 formerly abused, but now spoiled pets and I am vegan. People CAN change. Sometimes they just need to see the truth.

  • Lara says:

    this dogs should taken away instead of giving dog houses! they have the right to have a happier and better life!

  • Ashley-P says:

    MKS: Each year, PETA builds and delivers hundreds of special long-lasting doghouses to needy dogs. The doghouses that we build are intended to last the dog’s lifetime, so we use only high-quality, durable materials. Our workers spend considerable time constructing each doghouse, and no detail is overlooked.

    The materials that we use include nontoxic, arsenic-free, pressure-treated plywood; marine varnish for bases; deck screws; plastic flaps for the opening; and waterproof silicone caulking. The cost of materials alone is approximately $113, although this number fluctuates depending on the current cost of materials. We estimate the cost of labor to be approximately $100 which includes the building of the houses, delivery preparation (calling owners, paperwork, directions, loading house and equipment) and final delivery/set up staff time. We spend roughly $55 on truck maintenance, gas, cell phones, walkie talkies, digital cameras, ties-outs, collars, treats, straw, plastic water bowls, flea and tick preventatives (in the summer), brochures, and literature. The above does not include costs incurred if we need to take the dog for medical help or sterilization.

  • Ashley-P says:

    Please know that if we ever see a dog (or any other animal) who is being abused or neglected, we do everything we can to address the problem, beginning with notifying the appropriate animal protection agency—if there is one. This is heart-wrenching work, but we console ourselves by trying to think how much better off the animals are that we have reached.

    In both cold and hot weather, the situation for “backyard dogs” is critical. While providing these dogs with a doghouse won’t make their guardians more caring or loving, it will give them warmth and shelter that they may never have known before and would not otherwise receive.

  • Jette Joendrup says:

    This is heartbreaking. I do not think it is good enough to sponsor doghouses. These dogs should be removed from their families, as they are being evil to the dogs. Please!!!

    Best regards

  • MKS says:

    Why are the sponsor amounts for dog houses so high? What are these houses made out of??? Can’t PETA cut a better deal with the manufacturer’s?