When the temperature drops outside it can turn our surroundings into much more than a beautiful, winter wonderland. For animals, it can turn deadly.

This was almost the case for Elsa, a kitten discovered in Denver, Colorado on a night where temperatures dipped into the high teens. The kitten was discovered half covered in snow, her temperature so low that it didn’t register on the thermometer.

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“I was convinced the cat was dead when she brought her here.” Allison Baker, a friend of the person who found the kitten, said. Baker bundled the sweet little rescue up and took her to The Dumb Friends League, a non-profit animal welfare organization that has been in the Denver area since 1910. The decision saved the cat’s life.

“Our health care staff immediately placed her in a bed of heating pads and warming blankets,” Megan Rees, a spokesperson for The Dumb Friends League told The Huffington Post. “we put warming ‘booties’ on her paws and used a hair dryer to raise her body temperature. We also administered warm IV fluids.”

New York Daily News

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Named after the ice queen from Frozen, Elsa stands as a nearly tragic reminder that animals, just like humans, need to be protected from extremes in temperature. Though Elsa was likely a stray, many people erroneously believe that cats are able to stay warm in the cold winter months due to their furry coats. The Humane Society of the United States says that there’s a noticeable uptick in animal cruelty and neglect calls during these months as cats are left to the elements, many of them succumbing to the harshness of their environment.

Keeping animals indoors and away from freezing temperatures is imperative to keeping them safe and healthy, which is also best practice for the unforgiving heat we find in the summertime too. If you see an animal in trouble, contact your nearest animal control center in order to get the animal help as soon as possible. Acting immediately can be the difference between a positive or a tragic outcome.

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In the case of Elsa, she’s recovering well and the league will be placing her up for adoption as soon as she’s stable and ready for a forever home. For every Elsa, there are thousands of other rescued cats that need a place to live too, so support your local shelter and consider bringing one of them home this winter. Remember, when it comes to rescuing a pet, Love is an Open Door…what, you thought we were gonna reference that other song?

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Lead Image Credit: ABC News

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