If you're like me, you truly love all of the animals that roam the earth. Each season showcases how beautiful life is with all of our furry friends that surround us.

During the warmer months, it's easier for animals who live outdoors considering they can hunt for their own food and have options, drink from fresh running streams and find places to sleep at night.

During the cooler months, I notice more outdoor animals that come by my place frequently. From foxes, to deer, cats and squirrels. I always welcome them with open arms while respecting their need to be independent and fend for themselves.

At the same time, I have empathy for them living in colder conditions and at times, not having the same access to food as they did in the spring and summer.

There are a few things that we can do to assist Hudson Valley animals during the winter.

Build an outdoor shelter


Growing up, my family always had a large outdoor dog house for our pets to relax in during the day. As the years went on, I saw stray cats, squirrels, opossums and more animals occupy it. Regardless of species, having an outdoor shelter for any animal is helpful during rainy or snowy nights.

Build a DIY cat house

Man working with leather using crafting DIY tools

This idea came from a post that I saw on Facebook years ago. I believe that one of the volunteers from a local humane society shared the idea. I have had cats stay in these DIY houses but also other furry friends to stay warm.

Watch this video to find out how you can easily provide shelter for those outdoors.

Purchase a heated house


In addition to having two outdoor shelters, I have also bought a heated cat house. My grandma purchased one for her stray cat and she would stay in from sundown to sunrise. We believe that this house helped keep her stray cats safe, warm and protected during the winter.

I chose a heated cat house from Amazon and I know friends who have bought theirs from Chewy.

Check your car

car under the snow

The easiest thing that we can do this winter is to simply check our vehicles. It's possible that an animal could be under it, on top or somewhere inside to find warmth. Just taking a few extra seconds to be careful could really make a difference.

Do your part

A cat is happy about its food. A cat licks her mouth with her tongue

If you see a stray cat or animal that is hanging around, it may be in need of food, water or medical attention. Be sure to leave this out for your little visitor who may not have all of the same resources that it did during warmer months.

It comes down to, you see an animal in need, help out. Our animal rescues, animal shelters and local humane societies do so much to assist our community. They take in stray cats and dogs and give them loving fur-ever homes.

If you have questions about taking care of outdoor animals, consider reaching out for help. It's possible that you could find answers that way.

Pets Alive

363 Derby Rd, Middletown NY 10940

Find out more here.

Humane Society of Walden

2489 Albany Post Rd, Walden NY 12586

Find out more here.

Ulster County SPCA

20 Wiedy Rd, Kingston NY 12401

Find out more here.

If you are unable to adopt, please consider volunteering and or donating. Let's continue to spread good cheer, kindness and support not only through the holidays but also all year long.

It’s also a rewarding feeling to know that you have helped another living thing out when in need. Are these things that you notice during the cooler months? Is there a specific animal that you help out? Let us know below.

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