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More animals end up in Latvia's shelters in cold weather

Animal shelters help many dogs and cats who would not be able to survive in this cold. Some shelters are crowded and can't accommodate everyone in need. Big bills are also a worry, prompting the question of how to live further, Zemgale regional television reported on January 9.

A female dog ended up at the shelter right during the big cold spell. She sought refuge herself by jumping into a stranger's car. And almost the same day she ended up in a safe environment, she gave birth to seven puppies. Had she not found warmth, it is likely neither her nor the puppies would have survived.

She is currently safe at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine's (VMF) small animal shelter, as are other 22 dogs and 35 cats.

“Like a person, if an animal doesn't have a place to shelter, if, say, they don't have a warm place, if they cannot get their bellies full, get warm water, the animal can die,” said Unda Ģēģere, head of VMF small animal shelter.

Meanwhile, at the society "Ķepu Ķepā", the big frost has brought seven more dogs. It's now home to more than 100 dogs and just as many cats. Because of the cold, several more cats should be taken in, but there is no physical space left. Assistance on how to take care of stray animals is offered by phone.

“Those animals on the street find it most challenging to get food and drink without which they don't have enough energy to heat themselves. And then that can already, unfortunately, be (with exceptions) fatal,” noted Gundega Bidere, head of the Animal Protection Society Ķepu ķepā.

The cold has also significantly increased the expenditure of animal shelters and associations.

The latest electricity bill for the society Ķepu Ķepā reached 1,500 euros a month in December, but January's bill is expected with great worry.

To protect the animals during the cold weather, it is necessary to provide them with a place to shelter. Stray cats are encouraged to be allowed into stairwells, put down some water for them, and contact municipal police, who must further transport the animal to the shelter.

The shelters also recommend looking around whether there might be seniors who can't look after their pets.

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