Over the past week, community members came together to help pets brave the winter freeze at the Bastrop County Animal Shelter.

What happened

Ahead of the arctic cold front that rolled into the area Jan. 14, officials at the shelter put out a call to action on social media, requesting items, such as blankets, towels and dog sweaters, for the shelter pets. The much-needed items quickly began pouring in.

"We truly appreciate the community," said Wendy Ballard, Bastrop County Animal Services Coordinator. "When we put out a dire request, they always go above and beyond, and it is all for the shelter pets, who are patiently waiting for their homes. We are just so incredibly grateful."

Also of note

While most of the city was shut down due to cold weather and slick roads Jan. 15, the shelter team showed up to take care of the animals.

"All the animals were medicated, fed, cleaned, snuggled and walked," officials said. "We have an exceptional, dedicated team, and we are grateful for each and every one."

Get involved

One way to help is to volunteer time. Volunteers can assist in multiple capacities at the shelter, including being dog walkers; kennel assistants; adoption event assistants; cattery companions and greeters; helping with transportation; and more.

Fostering is another way to help combat the growing homeless pet population. Foster parents help by caring for orphaned puppies and kittens who need to be bottle-fed and/or are not yet fully vaccinated, or fully grown pets who just need a place to stay until a rescue is available.

One more thing

Those who are unable to donate time but have the resources available to donate items can do so by checking out the shelter's Amazon Wishlist. Items from the list can be purchased and delivered through Amazon, or in person.

The list is updated regularly and includes items needed to keep the shelter running, such as cleaning supplies, medical supplies, food, toys and more.

Quote of note

"Our hearts are so incredibly full," officials said. "We truly, truly cannot thank everyone enough for dropping off and sending so many warm and cuddly blankets. We are blessed with such a caring community."