The Oakland Press (http://www.theoaklandpress.com)
By Aftab Borka, The Oakland Press
Saturday, February 14, 2015
As the mercury goes well below zero degree with wind chills, it’s not only dangerous for humans to be exposed to the cold for long but also for the animals.
“I try not to cry and strangle the owner,” said Ferndale resident Rose Hertrich, who volunteers with Animal Care Network – a nonprofit that rescues animals out of ‘bad situations’.
For 15 years, Hertrich and other volunteers have been canvassing neighborhoods in Pontiac to make sure the animals are treated well, especially in harsh weather conditions.
Hertrich said ‘it’s heartbreaking’ to see these animals being ignored in the cold.
Founded in 1994, Animal Care Network has rescued over 16,000 dogs and cats, spayed and neutered 8,200 owned dogs and cats and made over 122,000 visits, wellness checks and assistance calls in the areas of Pontiac and Inkster, said Pam Porteous, the network’s manager.
On Saturday, Hertrich and two other volunteers, Kim Montgomery of Fenton and Marcella Pasquinelli of Madison Heights, visited 23 addresses in Pontiac to check on the animals and remind the owners to keep their pets in warm places.
They keep reminding the owners every week because not taking good care can have very serious effects on the animals’ health.
“The last time we were out last month we found a dog frozen to death,” said Montgomery, who owns several animals herself.
“I was having anxiety attacks about going out today. So it’s terrible,” she said, adding that she feels ‘really, really, really bad’ for the animals.
And it’s not just the cold weather. Things could be as bad in the summers too.
“It’s just as bad in the summertime when they are suffering from heatstroke and no water and no shade. So winter or summer, they need help,” said Pasquinelli.
She said the main goal of her their efforts is to give the pet owners a very simple message.
“Bring your dogs inside in the cold weather,” said Pasquinelli. “Be a responsible pet owner.”
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