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People urged to bring pets inside after volunteers discover dog, puppies frozen to death in St. Louis

"Temperatures are deadly here in St. Louis and beyond. Doghouses and straw are not enough when it's below freezing," a spokesperson from Stray Rescue said

ST. LOUIS — A local animal rescue shared a heartbreaking reminder as temperatures hit below freezing in the St. Louis area Monday.

Stray Rescue of St. Louis is urging people to bring their pets inside after one of their volunteers made a disturbing discovery. 

"Temperatures are deadly here in St. Louis and beyond. Doghouses and straw are not enough when it's below freezing. People have got to bring their pets inside. Today, we found frozen dogs," a spokesperson said in an email.

According to Stray Rescue, one of its volunteers saw a doghouse sitting in the middle of nowhere so she walked up to it and realized it wasn't empty. A white dog with a collar was found frozen to death along with her newborn puppies who were also frozen to death.

"They were discarded like trash. They didn't deserve it. If anyone simply cannot bring their pets inside and are willing to surrender them, we will take them here at Stray Rescue," executive director Cassady Caldwell said.

Stray Rescue said it is also begging for foster families as it has been going full throttle and rescuing many animals since the cold snap hit the area this weekend. The dog pictured above was one of several strays saved by the organization this weekend. The shelter said even though it is full, it is making it work with new animals coming in.

If you cannot bring your pet inside, contact Stray Rescue at 314-771-6121.

Click here to sign up to foster.

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing this week.

READ MORE: Storm Alert | More winter weather into Monday night

Below are tips from the Humane Society of Missouri

HSMO's motto in the winter is: "35 degrees and below, protect Fido!"

  1. Bring pets inside: Pets cannot be outside for long periods of time in this weather. A common misconception that fur will protect a pet in cold weather is just that, a misconception! Just like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite and should not be left outside in the cold for prolonged periods of time, no matter the circumstance.
  1. Provide a cozy space: If there are no other options and animals are going to be left outdoors, owners must provide a well-insulated, draft-free, appropriately sized doghouse with a sturdy, flexible covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Adequate shelter is mandatory by law.
  1. Press “paws” on pet injuries: Upon coming inside, check your animal’s paws for signs of cold-weather damage, such as a cracked paw pad, redness between toes and any bleeding, as well as chemicals such as rock salt.
  1. Layer up your pup: If your dog has a thinner coat or seems bothered by cooler temperatures, consider a sweater or a dog coat. But be careful – a wet sweater or coat can actually make your dog colder, so keep it dry.
  1. Schedule your winter wellness exam: If your pet has not visited the veterinarian for their annual wellness exam, don’t delay. Cold weather can worsen certain medical conditions such as arthritis, so bring your pets into the vet when it’s safe outside!