Local outreach group offers help to keep dogs warm during cold snap

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, (FIDO) a dog outreach and nonprofit group, tells News 8 it has been receiving calls of animal neglect.

“If there’s no dog house, no food, or water. We’re looking at the conditions of the dog,” said Michelle Prichett, volunteer marketing coordinator. “Is the dog thin? Are there wounds on the dog, skin issues? Everything that may indicate that this dog is outside 24/7.”

FIDO provides animals with food and water, given permission by the owner. It isn’t authorized to take dogs to animal control unless they are in the street.

Instead, its mission is to educate pet owners on the city’s ordinances. The group said it’s against the law to chain your dog between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Dogs also must be brought inside when the temperature reaches 20 degrees and below, and when there’s a windchill warning.

FIDO said it helps assist to the best of its ability.

“We do reach out to animal control and say, ‘hey this might be a run that you need to follow up on, you need to look further into,’ if the owners are not willing to bring the dog inside,” said case manager, Allison Cole.

FIDO will often hand out shelters large enough for a dog to stand and turn around in with straw.

“Blankets can get wet. Once a blanket is cold, it kind of tends to stay cold, whereas a straw bedding, it’s a better insulator,” Pritchett said. “It doesn’t retain water and a dog can burrow into the straw.”

The group also offers free spay and neutering services and hands out dog food for a small donation.

“We can help try to keep the dogs out of the shelter. If they need a crate, if they need food, we can help with all of that,” said Cole.

More information about FIDO and its mission can be found on the group’s website.

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