Austin Pets Alive! | Cold Weather Emergency Needs

Feb 02, 2023

A dangerous wintery mix has hit Central Texas this week.  We are welcoming walk-ins and adoptions today from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., but ask for your patience as we get back up and running.  See you soon!

We’re calling on our community members for help needed:

1. Other help for shelters we support
Many neighboring cities’ animals are also at risk during weather emergencies like this, and are often far less resourced than Austin. Long term fosters also needed for dogs coming in from San Benito

2. Education and help for community pets
Read and share this checklist to protect pets where you are.
Bring pets inside. The best thing you can do for your pet is to bring them inside with you. While some breeds of dogs are more tolerant of cold weather than others, no pet should be left outside for long periods of time when it is below freezing (32ºF). You know your pet best, so be vigilant about watching for signs of their cold tolerance and limit outdoor activities accordingly.
Check your car for cats. Our feline friends like to hide from this weather in car engines and/or wheel wells, so thump the hood of your car a few times and check your wheels for stowaways before you start the engine and take off.
Provide a makeshift enclosure for outdoor animals. If you’ve noticed outdoor cats or other animals in your community suffering from the cold (shaking, curled up, etc.) and you are worried about them, create a makeshift shelter for them to stay warm in. A closed box or Rubbermaid bin with a cut out in the side, with towels or blankets, will help keep them safe in the frigid temperatures. Click here for example directions for cat shelters from Alley Cat Advocates and click here for more on what to do for dogs in the cold from Best Friends.
Or consider opening your garage slightly (and leaving a heating pad or heat lamp on) to let cats in from the cold.

Put a sweater on your pup. If you have a dog with a short coat, you can keep them a bit more insulated by putting a sweater or dog coat on them. Be sure the sweater and coat are completely dry for each outing, though, as damp or wet outerwear could actually make them chillier.

Check paws. After outdoor activity, check your pet’s paws for any signs of cracking on the paw pads, redness between toes, or bleeding. Wipe them down after each outing, too, to remove any salt, ice, or chemicals.
3. Warm meals for onsite staff
4. Warm blankets, please drop off
5. Dog treats
6. To help with expenses such as gas, supplies, assistance to other shelters as needed and general lifesaving needs please make a donation here.
For city information about cold weather shelters and warming centers, visit
Need help with a community pet? Visit the P.A.S.S. Facebook group. P.A.S.S. connects you to community member support for emergency pet food, pet resource assistance, and other emergency pet help.

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