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East Coast Cold Snap Harms Animals

January 28, 2010

By Anne Kornfeld, Contributing Writer

If only all indoor/outdoor animals could wear a Furbabies Pink Leopard Goat Coat to stay warm. So far this winter, we've been inundated with news about the cold and snowstorms hitting most of the country. The stories of car accidents, school closures, and businesses having to close their doors make hard economic times even harder. The news is bad for people, but it is equally bad for other sentient beings.

National Public Radio recently reported that the long cold snap in Tampa, Florida and in other states along the Atlantic coast has taken a dramatic toll on ocean wildlife. By January 7, 140 sea turtles in Tampa were forced to relocate. Iguanas and manatees suffered from the extreme temperatures, while animals living in the Miami Metro Zoo were given blankets, heaters and even hot cocoa to help stay warm. The Atlanta Zoo closed its doors as trails iced over, making it impossible for visitors to walk through the park.

According to a local Oregon news station, KEZI, in December 2009 when Independence dairy farmers felt the impact of cold weather, the cows ate less and huddled together to stay warm. As long as the cows are protected from the wind, they fare pretty well in subzero temperatures. Back in Florida and other eastern states there has been very little reported on how animals used for food production are or how they are surviving the cold. Throughout Florida, including St. Petersburg, commercial fish farms continue to lose their crops of tropical fish as the lethal cold freeze kills off hundreds of thousands of fish.

Editor's note: Locally, you can help out at two nearby animal sanctuaries. Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary (www.lighthousefarmsanctuary.org) in Scio, OR (near Salem) hosts regular Saturday work parties. Out to Pasture Sanctuary (www.outtopasturesanctuary.org) in Estacada would also appreciate assistance. Visit their websites for more information on how you can get involved.

The earthquake in Haiti has also endangered millions of livestock and companion animals in Haiti. The ASPCA has teamed up with Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) to provide aid for these animals. For more information on how you can help visit, www.aspca.org/news/help-the-animals-of-haiti.html.

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