“We want to reach out to people instead of condemning them.” Local organization helps pet owners ahead of winter months

You can help the OTIS Foundation's doghouse program! Just reach out to the organization through their Facebook page! (WTHI Photo)
You can help the OTIS Foundation's doghouse program! Just reach out to the organization through their Facebook page! (WTHI Photo)

PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The season of giving happens to fall within some of the coldest months of the year.

But, if you have a soft-spot for dogs, there’s a simple way you can help make winter bearable for them.

That’s through the doghouse program put on by the OTIS Foundation.

Founder and President of the OTIS Foundation, Cara Bryant, says as winter creeps closer with each passing day, it’s time to prep for those cold conditions.

Unfortunately for some pet owners, that’s a challenge.

Bryant says, “It’s important to help the people because a lot of times people don’t have the resources, or they’re afraid to ask. We want to reach out to people instead of condemning them, and just try to help them as much as we can so that their animals don’t have to suffer.”

That’s why the OTIS Foundation wants to ensure area pets are properly housed this winter.

Bryant says, “We’re focusing on at-risk pets. Backyard dogs. Animals that don’t have proper shelters. So we’re trying to accumulate as many extra doghouses as we can, bales of straw, and stuff like that, and we’re going to deliver them to people that need help.”

Bryant says sometimes a dog owner’s situation is financial.

In other cases, an owner just doesn’t know what the best options are for their pets.

Bryant says, “We don’t recommend using like blankets or towels because they get wet and they freeze, and that doesn’t help the animal stay warm. So we recommend straw because it’s absorbent and helps keep the heat in.”

Bryant says seeing the supplies coming in warms her heart.

That’s because she knows it means keeping owners and their dogs united, and warm.

She says, “It just pulls at our heart strings so much and we just hate to see animals suffering when we know there’s a way we can help. So it’s really rewarding.”

Bryant says the plan is to get as many houses and bales of straw as they can and encourage people to reach out if they have a friend or neighbor that needs help.

She says if you, or someone you know needs the program’s assistance, the best way to make contact is through the OTIS Foundation’s Facebook Page.

In addition to accepting donations of doghouses and straw, the OTIS Foundation is also holding a “Pet Pinup” contest.

The contest runs through November 30th and it costs a dollar to cast a vote.

All of the proceeds will go to the OTIS Foundation doghouse program.