Local humane society knows what pets need most

Shauna Allen

Winter weather is here and your pets needs adequate care and shelter from the cold. The McDonough County Humane Society has a few tips to keep your pets warm and healthy during the winter months.First, provide adequate shelter free from drafts, using blankets, pads and straw on tiled areas to add warmth. Pets spending a lot of time outside need more food than usual because it takes more calories to keep the animals’ body temperatures regulated.

Second, always give your pets plenty of fresh water. It is important for animals to drink just as much water in the winter as in the summer.

Also, refrain from using steel or metal chains and collars to restrain your pet, as these retain bone-chilling temperatures and are extremely uncomfortable.

And always keep antifreeze away from pets; wipe up any spills on driveways or in garages. Antifreeze smells good and tastes good to your pet, but it is fatal.

Aside from cold weather tips, the humane society provides other services for animals. According to their newsletter, they are an organization based on concern for the well-being and treatment of animals. Every year they work to improve the lives of many animals here in McDonough County.

Other community services provided are: spay/neuter coupons to help with finances when adopting a pet from the McDonough County Animal Shelter, straw sales to help pets stay warm in the winter, educational advertisements such as “Don’t dump your pet,” and anti-cruelty notices.

The mistreatment and neglect of companion and livestock animals does occur in nearly every community. In Illinois, acts such as setting your cat on fire are recognized as crimes. The Humane Care for Animals Act identifies cruelty to animals; no one may “beat, cruelly treat, torment, starve, overwork or otherwise abuse any animal.”

Owners are required by law to provide sufficient quantities of water, quality food, adequate shelter, protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed and humane care and treatment.

Also, aggravated cruelty, according to the Humane Care for Animals Act, is a misdemeanor. According to the newsletter, people who abuse animals are more likely to commit acts of violence against others. Always report suspected cases of animal abuse to your local animal control officer and local law enforcement agency.

“Our animal friends do not have the voices to make their concerns known,” Kim Sedgwick, co-director of the McDonough County Humane Society, said. “So often, animals suffer due to neglect and maltreatment. We have chosen to speak for them and try to provide for them the care they deserve.”

During the Christmas break, the humane society plans to keep promoting adoption with newsletters, flyers and advertisements. The committee will begin making plans for fund-raisers and membership support for next year.