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Headwaters Animal Shelter reminds pet owners about proper housing

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Labrador retriever with cap on his head in winter
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Housing for animals at any time of the year is a vital key for survival. It really does amaze us how many residents in the area are unaware of the proper housing for dogs and cats.

We live in Minnesota, where it gets frigidly cold for what seems like forever and in the few short months of “nice” weather, it also becomes very hot!

At the Headwaters Animal Shelter, we feel that it is up to us to help educate Hubbard County residents about the importance of winter housing and how to care for your animals in this weather.

Laws say that if you are in charge or in control of any dog that is kept outdoors, you must supply an enclosed shelter with bedding. This shelter should include a moisture-proof and wind-proof structure that is big enough for the dog. The floor should also be moisture proof, and the structure needs to be at least two inches off the ground. In the colder months, the structure must have a windbreak at the entrance. The shelter needs to have suitable bedding inside; this can consist of hay, straw, cedar shavings or blankets.

During the warmer months, shade from direct sunlight must be provided. Those who do not supply housing for dogs can be penalized, if found to be guilty.

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Although it does not state in the statutes, we believe that food and water should also be provided. Frozen food and water does not count, as the dog is not to eat or drink ice. Quality food includes Iams, Science Diet, Purina, etc. You can purchase heated water dishes at your local supply store; this will keep your animals water from freezing.

Another important thing to consider is getting your dog/cat vaccinated and keeping it up to date on shots. For cats, getting them spayed/neutered will also help with overpopulation. Not only are you helping solve a big problem, you are helping us here at the Headwaters Animal Shelter.

We do have instructions on how to build cat houses available at the shelter, and we will have some to supply in the near future, if needed.

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