BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of volunteers made the rounds in Battle Creek Thursday, helping pet owners in low-income homes keep their dogs safe and warm in the cold temperatures.
“These critical temps are not a time for an animal to miss a meal, nor should somebody have to share their own food with their dog,” said Sophia DiPietro of All Species Kinship (ASK).
For more than 13 years, volunteers from ASK have helped at-risk pet owners in Calhoun County.
“We drive up and down the streets with a van packed full of relief supplies,” DiPietro said. “We never know what we will find.”
“At times they have provided me with dog food,” dog owner Tim Millsap said. “There is not an organization like them anywhere.”
It’s a year-round mission that becomes more critical when the mercury falls.
DiPietro would prefer to see all the dogs inside. But if that’s not going to happen, she said, she wants them to stay warm.
While every case is different, DiPietro said one of the most in-demand supplies she carries is straw. Straw, rather than blankets, provides the best warmth, DiPietro said. A wet blanket will freeze, but straw will not.
But it isn’t cheap.
“To pack this van full of straw, it costs about $60,” DiPietro said.
The costs of serving all the dogs — sometimes 40 a day — is funded through donations. Deliveries are all made by volunteers who believe that people should not lose a pet simply because they are having a tough month.