ASPCA’s Operation Gimme Shelter Provides Dog Houses for At-Risk Pets

Monday, March 3, 2014 - 2:45pm
ASPCA’s Operation Gimme Shelter Provides Dog Houses for At-Risk Pets

The ASPCA Cruelty Intervention Advocacy team, volunteers from New York Cares, and the NYPD Community Affairs Office set up shop in the 113th Precinct in Jamaica, Queens, this weekend to provide free dog houses, pet ID tags, dog food, behavioral support and educational materials to community members and their canine companions. These resources were in high demand: We distributed 35 large dog houses, as well as rain checks for 15 more houses as part of a pilot program called Operation Gimme Shelter for at-risk pets.

New York City has experienced unusually frigid temperatures and record-breaking snowfall this winter, resulting in numerous reports to the NYPD of pets left out in the cold. In some cases, pet owners lack the resources or financial means to purchase dog houses. As temperatures remain below freezing and snow continues to fall in NYC, we’re relieved that Saturday’s dog house recipients will stay warm and dry.

It’s important for pet parents to note that if it’s too cold for people to be outside, it’s too cold for pets to be outside without protection. For more information about our work for at-risk pets in NYC, please visit our Cruelty Intervention Advocacy program online.

ASPCA’s Operation Gimme Shelter

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Agree with you all. No one who would leave an animal out in this cold should be allowed to keep it.
Teresa C. said it best, how could these people not allow their pet inside--at least during the winter? Not real guardians if you ask me!
These poor babies never get to experience what its like to be part of a loving family pack =(

Judith Andersen

I view this as enabling. It will only fractionally improve a dog's life. In the winter, it's unheated and dangerously cold. In the summer, it becomes an oven. It might be OK for a samoyed in winter, but certainly not for the pit bulls pictured above. Please, if you don't want a pet to share your home and your life with, don't get one!

karen newman

Short haired and small dogs should be in the house.Dogs that are "built" for winter should have bedding in their house,not a blanket, straw or cedar chips hold heat. I wish My county had an SPCA.I do give to the SPCA monthly.All states should have the same laws,it it would be much easier to follow.I have 4 dogs in my house .I Love My DOGS!

Marcia Moore

There are parents that are mandated to take parenting classes for various reasons, i.e. young and lack the knowledge. I believe there are some pet owners that need to be mandated to attend classes on caring for a pet, but then you have some that would be pushing them over the edge and the pet would go missing and you would never know what happened to them, I am afraid a scenario that would be heartbreaking. There are some people that never should have a child nor a pet. With that said, if they are going to be allowed to keep the pet, it was a kindness to give the dogs something to keep the howling wind off of them. You would hope if the ASPCA was kind enough to deliver dog houses they could at least put blankets inside.


It makes me mad about all these heartless people that treat animals the way they do. I agree with everyone that its way too cold for any pet to be outside. Doghouses don't help. Animals do not deserve to be treated this way.

Lori Grone

I agree - why can't the dogs be warm inside with their family? Not good but I guess it's better than facing the elements with no shelter at all.


I maintain a small, TNR'd feral cat colony on Staten Island. When Hurricane Sandy washed away my shelters and feeder, I had to improvise fast to provide my gang with shelters. My solution? Styrofoam crates, and the shelters I make would be large enough for a pit bull or a lab.

Every week, Petco receives shipments of tropical fish in styrofoam crates that go out in the trash. I glued the bottoms of the crates together, doubled the thickness of the styrofoam with lids and found pieces, lined them with mylar, stuffed them with straw, put a carapace over the entrance to deflect wind and rain, weighted them down with bricks stacked at their bases and set on top, and those things are WARM. They retain body heat even when the animals exit to eat. I had 4-month kittens going into this winter, and they have fluorished. On especially bitter nights, I stick 24-hr body warmers stuck in old gloves in the shelters, but the cats also huddle for warmth.

The shelters cost $12 to $15 to make. The crates are free in the trash, and I glue them with Liquid Nails or Gorilla Glue, seal & waterproof the joins with that aerosole crack filler stuff, and spray paint them black or dark green.

There is also the additional benefit that the styrofoam crates are repurposed for a good cause. Anyone could do this for a neighbor with an at-risk animal, or it would be a neat project for kids. I don't know if a wooden dog house will keep a dog wsrm, but I can assure you that a styrofoam shelter DOES keep its occupant(s) warm, especially when it is lined with mylar and stuffed with straw.


You are an absolutely awesome person!


I am in Alaska. Weather is a killer. Dogs need heat, especially a single dog that cannot huddle. Why aren't people sleeping with their dogs. Or at least have a rug for them in the house. Dogs have the same physical needs people do. What about water--it freezes--they have not heat and no water. BRING THEM IN--PUT THEM IN THE GARAGE.


There are a lot of West Indians in Queens and they don't believe dogs should be allowed in the house.