Free Straw Will Be Distributed for ‘Backyard Dogs’ Ahead of Freezing Temperatures

Because overnight temperatures are expected to drop below freezing this week, PETA is bringing straw bedding to the Belk parking lot in Franklin, Va, where residents can pick up one bag of straw per dog Wednesday, January 27th.

The giveaway will help Virginians comply with the new state law that—in addition to prohibiting leaving dogs chained outside when the temperature is 32 degrees or below—requires that all dogs kept outdoors be provided with insulating straw or other bedding and that doghouses have a windbreak to help protect animals from the cold.

“Being left outdoors in the cold causes extreme misery and can even be a death sentence for a dog,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “While PETA urges everyone to keep dogs indoors with the rest of the family, we’re offering a small measure of help that will make a huge difference in dogs’ lives.”

Animals who are left outside in the cold can suffer from frostbite and exposure, become dehydrated when water sources ice over, and die. When kept tethered, dogs often become tangled and die because they’re unable to reach food, water, or shelter. All dogs kept isolated outdoors—on chains or in pens—are denied the companionship that’s essential to these highly social pack animals.

Bag pick up will take place at noon at Belk, 1354 Armory Dr. (near the exit off U.S. 58 W.), Franklin.

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