All I want is a room somewhere
Far away from the cold night air
With one enormous chair
Oh wouldn’t it be loverly?

(Words to the song from My Fair Lady)

Temperatures outside have dropped below zero with a wind chill hovering at thirty below. It is not safe for anyone to be out in the elements. At this temperature frostbite occurs within thirty minutes. In severe cases, gangrene can set in. the death and decay of tissue which can result in amputation or death if left untreated. This applies to humans and animals alike, animals having a greater risk of tissue damage and death because they have no way of dressing more warmly when temperatures drop. They are often in direct contact with the ground which saps their body heat.

Recently, a dog was found frozen solid on the porch of a home in Toledo, Ohio. Another underweight dog was found locked inside the home that had no heat. The owner could face charges. A horrifying story but it is only one that could be reported in hundreds of cities across the country during the arctic blast that we are experiencing. My heart broke when I read the story. I wondered about the thoughts that might have been going through the little dog’s mind as she lay there shivering and dying.

Every one of the animals in our care was at one time outside and at the mercy of the elements prior to coming to WarmFuzzy’s. They were all at risk and perhaps and probably, many of their friends who were not as fortunate as they faced the same fate as that little dog in Toledo. Buddy is inside now, asleep at my feet. Nimbus is curled up next to the wood stove and Monty is asleep on a blanket on the sofa. The rest of our fur kids in the house and in the shelter are enjoying the warmth of their respective heaters, blankets, and pillows. They have food, water and love. “Wouldn’t it be loverly” if we could say the same for all of the animals in our region and yours but alas, such is not the case and we know it. There is great suffering at this very moment.

At night we always scan the darkness with our flashlights for the glowing eyes of lost souls. When it snows, we check for little footprints. We put out food and water and rotate the water dishes when they freeze. We have small shelters with straw and we could use more. We do what we can and struggle with the sadness that it might not be enough. We imagine little shivering voices saying, “All I want is a room somewhere far away from the cold night air.” We have been successful in saving many and we know that we still have work to do. We will always have work to do.

You may or may not see glowing eyes or footprints in the snow but you suspect or know that there are little ones nearby who are at risk. Put out some food and water if you can. Prepare a shelter to the best of your ability. You may save the life of a dog or cat or possum or a raccoon, a life that was created by the same God who created you.

I’d like another cup of hot tea but I don’t want to disturb the Budster. [shrug] I’ll live…and so will he. That’s a good thought. Tomorrow, the Missus will make another trip to refill containers with kerosene that feeds the heaters. It costs two hundred dollars each trip. She has made four trips already and winter has just begun. It’s very expensive to keep our babies safe and warm this time of year but how much is a life worth?

If you cannot help a little one near you perhaps you could help with the little ones here. I know they will appreciate it and so will we.

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About the Author

Joyce Ellis is the CEO and Caretaker of WarmFuzzy's Animal Shelter & Sanctuary. She was born with the vision, the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going. She is Fuzzy1 of all WarmFuzzy's.

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