With so many parts of the country enduring cold temperatures, animal control offices are being overwhelmed with calls of animals being left out in the cold. But one animal control office in Michigan has found a creative way to raise awareness for this problem.
On January 12, three officers from the Saginaw County Animal Control will sleep outside from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. They’ll have nothing to keep them warm but a custom-made doghouse and some straw, just like a dog that sleeps outside in the middle of winter.
“Lot of times when people become dog owners they think, ‘Oh they’re a dog, they can sustain, do whatever,'” says Officer Joaquin Guerrero, who will participate in the exercise. “But they’re not educated for the summer weather, the fall, the spring, the winter, and we run into these problems.”
Students from a local elementary school will be on hand, although they will sleep inside, to monitor temperatures and the comfort level of the officers. There will also be medical personnel present to ensure the safety of the officers sleeping outside.
“My goal, my personal goal is to make it through the night,” says Guerrero.
To help raise awareness for animals that sleep outside in the winter, members of the community are free to watch and show their support for the officers. Saginaw County Animal Care Center will also be accepting donations that will go directly to helping care for animals.
People from out of town or those unwilling to brave the cold of a January night in Michigan can monitor Guerrero using Facebook live. He will periodically check in to share his experiences sleeping outside in the cold.
“We’ve got to be that voice for them. We’ve got to help them so it doesn’t happen, so we don’t find these animals frozen,” says Guerrero. “We can’t save them all, but the ones we can save, or the awareness we can bring, that just keeps educating more people and more people.”