WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita animal rescue organizations have experienced an increase in call volume with the recent cold snap.
“Anytime that it gets cold like this, in the bitter cold, we start to get complaints from neighbors, utility workers, postal workers that they see these animals out in the cold without shelter and become very concerned,” said Wichita Animal Action League (WAAL) volunteer Tess Goodman.
On Monday, KSN rode along with Goodman as she fielded a number of complaint calls.
“We received a complaint of two German Shepherds without shelter that are just laying in the yard all night digging into the dirt to keep warm. That is something that we see quite often with dogs that don’t have any shelters, they will dig holes or dig into the dirt as far as they can to stay warm,” Goodman explained.
Once on scene, Goodman found several dogs in the front yard of the home. Goodman attempted to make contact with the pets’ owner.
“If they don’t have a shelter I will say, ‘You know, what you need is a dog house and we provide those free of charge if you need it’ and I will just try to educate them about what the law says and they need to protect their animal and most of the time if we say we are going to give them something free, they are pretty much inclined to go ahead and take that especially if we can keep them out of trouble with animal control,” she said.
In this case, Goodman offered the person at the home a free dog house and straw. However, the person refused Goodman’s help. Goodman told KSN she didn’t think the dogs had adequate shelter. She said she now plans to pass on the information about the animals to Wichita Animal Control.
Goodman conducted three more welfare checks while the KSN crew rode along. At each site, Goodman introduced herself and offered the pet owners free services.
“If they need help with a dog house, if they need emergency pet food, we are happy to provide that,” Goodman said. “We kind of pride ourselves at WAAL to be very non judgmental. We don’t go out to persecute owners because if we do that we put them on the defensive and we can’t help their animals. We know people get into tough situations.”
Goodman added she and the other WAAL volunteers understand people’s unique situations. She said the organization is merely working to keep area animals safe.
“Our goal is to prevent suffering,” she said.
To report neglect or call for a welfare check contact the Wichita Animal Shelter at 316-350-3366 or WAAL at firstname.lastname@example.org.