Shelter’s Heater Fails Amidst Arctic Blast – Community Rallies

An Arctic blast that is impacting temperatures as far south as Texas placed a strain on one animal shelter’s heating system…a strain that the decades old heater could not handle. In the midst of freezing temperatures, Austin Pets Alive’s “ancient” heater failed. Over the weekend, the non-profit shelter let supporters know what had happened:

A decades-old heater could not keep up with the winter blast at Austin Pets Alive’s!  A heating system in our kennels couldn’t compete with the winter blast last night and broke down. It was one that had not needed replacement in our winter emergency two years ago but was overwhelmed by the extreme cold. We are in urgent need of donations to repair or replace the heater to keep 50 dog kennels warm.

Fortunately, the plea for help was quickly answered. In short order, the dogs who had been located in the portion of the shelter impacted by the heating failure, were relocated to heated kennel runs, or moved out for a short-term “sleepover.” Austin Pets Alive! stated, “Our community is amazing!”

The good continued…on Monday, the shelter let Facebook followers know that a local business had reached out to lend a life-saving hand:

We asked for help and you and Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning came to the rescue!

Less than 24 hours after our plea posted, Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning stepped forward offering a generous discount on replacing the unit, which combined with the funds donated by the public, met our goal.

Radiant will be working on getting the permit, and getting a crane and unit ordered, but we expect that the heater will be installed this week. Thank you so much!

Find the website for Austin Pets Alive! here.

Find Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning on Facebook here.

Of note to all pet owners as temperatures plunge across much of the nation – dogs and cats should be brought inside during frigid weather. Pets’ tolerance for the cold can vary depending on their age, type of coat and amount of body fat. Be sure to check paws for signs of frostbite and reach out to local animal control agencies if you see a pet suffering in extreme outdoor conditions.

(Photos Austin Pets Alive! and Pixabay Free Photos)


Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.