After dangerously cold weather and snowy conditions pummeled parts of the country this week, many are worried about animals and pets that may be in need of help.
In Texas, millions of people were without power for several days as temperatures dropped below freezing. According to NBC News, 43 deaths have been linked to the icy weather, with the majority of those deaths occurring in Texas. While power has been restored to the majority of those in need, other complications, like water supply issues and supply chain concerns, still pose a problem.
Many local animal groups have put out information on how to help animals and pets in Texas, especially ones that may have been outside during the inclement weather.
In Austin, the group Austin Pets Alive! is updating its website and Facebook page with information about how to help. Right now, they are asking for financial or supply donations. Water is especially in high demand since the city is under a boil water advisory. The organization is also asking for diesel fuel, which can keep generators running, and has also asked for more traditional supplies like cat litter or dog food.
The Yaqui Animal Rescue in the Rio Grande Valley has been asking for water donations on social media after its pipes broke due to the weather.
Other shelters, like the Houston Humane Society, are always accepting donations to care for animals in their custody.
It's also important to keep an eye out for stray pets or animals in your neighborhood. The Houston Humane Society recommends leaving out "blankets and towels" for animals who might need a warm place to rest. Anyone driving should knock on the hood of their car before starting the vehicle, since stray cats may sleep on the car's warm engine block. The Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center advises making sure that any water is covered, since dogs may walk on the frozen surface and could be at risk of falling through. Austin Pets Alive! also encourages people to "take care of animals and each other" by checking in on people and pets in their neighborhood.
Other large organizations, including the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States, have local branches in Texas and are doing what they can to care for animals in the state.
Many cities in Texas also have access to animal services managed by local or county officials. To see what services are available in your area, go to your local government's website.