A Shreveport couple found a stray dog frozen to death in their yard this yesterday morning. The dog was found at the corner of Richmond Ave and Ockley Ave on Sunday, January 14th, when the overnight temperature reached a low of 27°F. Unfortunately, this is not the first case that has been reported throughout the country this winter, but this is the first we’ve heard of in Caddo Parish.
At the end of last year, Pennsylvania passed a law making it illegal for dogs to be kept outdoors for longer than 30 minutes during extremely hot (more than 90 degrees) or cold (less than 32 degrees) temperatures. The law was named Libre’s Law to honor a terribly neglected and abused 7-week old puppy, who was fortunate to recover thanks to the help of animal rescuers. Punishment for breaking Libre’s Law includes a fine and up to a year of jail time. In Louisiana no such law exists and many residents are ill-prepared when temperatures drop below freezing.
One group of local women has worked tirelessly this winter to do something to help dogs living outside. Calling themselves Good Samaritans Relief, they have been providing dog houses, blankets, hay, and sweaters to local animals they have either been contacted about being left outside or have witnessed outside without shelter. In addition to providing shelter and supplies (with owner permission), they have been educating the owners, providing food in certain cases and helping owners find the resources for local spay and neuter programs.
Right now this group relies on donations or funds their efforts out of their own pocket. There is also a GoFundMe set up to raise funds for supplies plus veterinary care for dogs they find in need. You can contribute at https://www.gofundme.com/4xqyxqg.
Otherwise they are accepting donations that contribute to their efforts in the form of dog beds, dog igloos/houses, hay, sweaters, blankets, etc. You can also contact them through their Facebook page if you see a dog that might benefit from their assistance.
With temperatures continuing to drop below freezing and winter weather in the forecast for the next week, pets left outside are at risk for a similar tragic outcome. Please bring make sure your outdoor pets have adequate warm shelter and if possible please bring them inside when temperatures drop below freezing. If you see a stray animal, you can also contact Caddo Animal Control (318-226-6624) to pick it up so it will not suffer the same fate as this dog.