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Winter shows many needs

Winter may mean sleigh rides and snow days for many youth in our county but it can be far less pleasant for some adults and many animals.

With freezing temperatures and frigid snowfalls gripping the region, it is important that we don’t forget those in need or that our animals shouldn’t be subjected to extreme conditions either.

Area food banks, homeless shelters, the City Mission and other charitable organizations all need your help to help those who are less fortunate.

From canned goods to old winter coats to monetary donations, every gift could be the difference for someone in need.

And for the Red Cross, every “gift” they receive is truly the gift of life.

The local Red Cross is in need of donations this year and shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to the blood it provides as well as the humanitarian aid it provides abroad and here at home to families displaced by fires, flooding or other natural disasters.

But our four-legged friends shouldn’t be forgotten either. Here are some tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“Dogs and cats can suffer from exposure to winter conditions too.

Keep your cat inside.

Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws,

 Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.

 Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.”

Each of us can do our part to make the winter wonderland truly wonderful for everyone.