Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

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Minus 17 in Vancouver Tonight, a video and pictures for outdoor warming ideas for outdoor people and animals

I just heard about a news report on CBC that said there are 20,000 homeless cats in Surrey alone.  Wow. Here’s the link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/cat-crisis-erupts-in-surrey-where-strays-number-in-the-thousands-1.2749722

I particularly find this part interesting:

“She offers a few solutions. First and foremost, Morris says pet owners should spay or neuter their cats, especially if they’re allowed outside.

But she’s also calling for a cultural shift: to treat cats with the same respect we treat dogs.

For example, she says, it’s less socially acceptable to abandon a dog than it seems to be to abandon a cat.”

Tonight we drop to an unheard of Minus 17 in the Mainland.  Can you do anything to help?  Do you live in an area where there are perhaps some homeless cats?  Or maybe some skunks or racoons who could use a helping hand for a night or two?

I’m also reminded by Sorelle of rabbitats how wonderful it would be to be able to put out boxes of stray around surrey if that were allowed for all the wild and abandoned bunnies.  Here are some of her great ideas:

“Great ideas here to help outdoor animals. Please spread the word. I wish we could leave bales of straw all over in the parks and bushes where all the dumped bunnies live. Boxes (with two small holes) or bins with straw or blankets, or even just piles of straw left under bushes will probably help a lot of little creatures out there. A sock full of rice or beans microwaved and placed in a box with a blanket is great too. And always check under your hood or at least pound on it a few times before starting your car! Kitties and small animals could be keeping warm under there and can be injured or killed.”

I am also reminded by a very concerned and worried friend about all the homeless, unsheltered people on the streets tonight.  How it seems like an unforgivable sin, that these people could be abandoned and alone in this freezing weather, where there are not enough beds.

I am listing a few more ideas, along with visuals and a quick movie to watch on creating a way to keep feet or paws warm for 8 hours in the cold:

Heres an informal video if thats easier: http://www.magisto.com/album/video/PSMrRQZNC0Z5IS0GDmEwCX12

1.) hot water bottle method

you need a hot water bottle

tea towel

thermal bag

small blanket if possible, its ok if not!  or sweater or old towel

straw, which wicks moisture away, not hay

even better, add a box for stray cats and animals!

The dollar store might sell them (they are horrible quality of plastic and break down, please beware, but its better than nothing!)

thermal bags are cheap at the dollar store or super market.  it seems layering the hot water bottle helps hold the heat in longer, and then the more layering you can do with hot water bottles, bags, blankets, straw will keep the heat in even longer.

Directions:  Boil the hot water, add to hot water bottle (if you don’t have one, use hot tap water in an old plastic pop bottle, leaving space for expansion), wrap in the thermal bag, fold in half if you like and wrap in an old sweater, blanket or towel.  Give to someone on street or put out for animals in a place you think they’ll hide that looks sheltered from biting wind.  You can also you a tarp or garbage bag to create wind free areas, under a deck or around a tree or in shrubs.  Any hiding places with a tiny bit of warmth will take the edge off, it might just be enough to make it through the night.  If you like, entice an animal there with a bit of food and water, even though it will freeze.  If you happen to be more rural and have access to stray you can layer a thermal blanket with a thermal bag and straw in a box and partially cover it, if open on the top or cut two small holes in for an escape on either side. You can also use a pet carrier of any sort.  Im sure there are a thousand ways to be creative here.  These are just some quick ideas Ive used with some success.

2.) Of course if you have access to electricity even better!   A small light bulb of 50 – 100 watts produces lots of heat.  An electric blanket, of some sort, a trouble light, an electric heater, whatever you have!  Id love to hear your ideas!  this could be put somewhere, out of the wind, around a porch, if you put out tuna it will attract many creatures and they will feel the heat and appreciate it.

3.)  Lentils, rice  or warmed rocks or bricks

These can be warmed in the oven or a microwave or stove top and then placed in a sock or cloth bag.  Of course the more you layer it, the longer it will last and if you have a thermal bag it will last a bit longer. This method only holds heat for a couple of hours, but its something!

Thank you for caring about our homeless people and creatures who desperately need our help not only in B.C. but all over the world.

Id love to hear your great ideas and hear what works.

Below are some pictures and a quick video.

Take care and stay warm.

http://www.magisto.com/album/video/PSMrRQZNC0Z5IS0GDmEwCX12

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