Winter can be a beautiful time of the year. Maybe you stay warm inside with a cup of yummy hot cocoa as you watch the snowfall or maybe you even venture out to sled in the snow. No matter how you celebrate the cooler months, winter can be a pleasant time of the year. But for our animal friends, winter can also be very dangerous.

Cats and dogs are at risk of frostbite and hypothermia when they are left outdoors during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage. A few years ago, a mall in Turkey opened its doors to let homeless dogs sleep inside so that they could escape the cold. And now, we have another story to share featuring a kind person helping an animal caught in winter’s way.

A finch accidentally got their feet frozen to a steel fence in blustering cold Idaho and was desperately trying to fly away. Luckily, Nelson Wilson found the finch when he was feeding his horses on New Year’s morning. The steel fence is next to a heated water tank so Wilson believes the bird was drinking from the tank and got their feet wet. When the poor bird landed on the metal fence, his little feet froze in an instant. As you can see in the above video, Wilson eventually gets the little bird free by warming the feet with his breath. Clearly, the bird is a bit startled, but once free, he flies away happily.

We are so thankful Nelson Wilson was there to help save this bird’s life. If you would also like to help our feathered friends, consider adding a bird feeder to your yard. This is a great way to help birds in the cooler months. An added bonus: it’s gorgeous to watch the birds feed!

If you ever come across an animal in need, it is always important to seek the advice of a trained professional before stepping in to help. If you find yourself in this situation, check out these rescue hotlines for someone who can help.

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