LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Animal shelters in Kentuckiana are asking for blanket donations as the bitterly cold weather continues.

On Wednesday, Louisville Metro Animal Services responded to 110 service calls to check on animals, and the cold weather has a lot to do with that. Only 19 kennels remain empty.

“We are filling up quickly because of the weather,” said LMAS Spokesperson Teeya Barnes.

The shelter is in desperate need of blankets, especially fleece blankets. With all the animals, the shelter’s only washer and drying can’t keep up.

“When it’s cold like this, we constantly check the kennels to make sure the animals have dry blanketing," Barnes said. "And if it is wet, we immediately remove it and replace it."

When it is dangerously cold outside, the animals remain inside, only going outside when their cages are cleaned. The kennel doors that lead to the outside are kept close if the weather drops below 40 degrees.

Dogs and cats, too, can get cabin fever if cooped up for too long, which provides extra challenges for staff to keep the animals happy while inside.

“We try to do enrichment," Barnes said. "We will fill Kongs or toilet rolls with treats, and that gives the dogs something to do while they are sitting in their kennels."

In the winter and cold, even the most well-behaved and obedient of pets can get away from owners and if not on a leash, even during the shortest of bathroom breaks. Barnes said many of the animals can get disoriented in the snow and run off.

A new shelter is in the works, which will have climate-controlled kennels, but for now, workers are doing what they can to keep the animals comfortable until they end up in their new forever homes.

People can drop off donations times and location:

Louisville Metro Animal Services

3707 Manslick Road

Louisville, KY 40215

Monday – Friday

12-6 p.m.

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