WAN Talks To Animal Control Officer In Michigan About Why She Is Preparing To Sleep In The Doghouse Tonight!

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Several animal control officers in Michigan are preparing to go beyond the call of duty this evening. So far beyond, they will be spending the night outdoors in freezing temperatures to bring awareness to what pets experience when they have to stay outdoors in the cold.

This morning, WAN talked to Tricia Barnes, the Saginaw County Animal Control officer who came up with the idea, about how they were preparing for the event, appropriately dubbed “Freezin’ for a Reason,” which will be broadcast live on Facebook beginning at 6:00 pm.

“We are getting together our heavy clothes and making sure there is enough straw,” Barnes told WAN. Barnes is also vice president of Project Underdog, a group of volunteers who provides shelter, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and supplies to dogs in need.

Barnes will spend the night in a doghouse on a bed of blankets which will most likely freeze, Officer Joaquin Guerrero will sleep in a doghouse filled with straw and Officer Anthony Trevino will be spending his time outside on the ground without any shelter.

“We could have all spent the night in the doghouse but we decided on our own what we each wanted to do,” Barnes explained to WAN. “We wanted to do different things that we see happening throughout our community.”

The project is a group effort between Saginaw Animal Care and Control, Project Underdog and Destination Imagination, a national program that promotes a hands-on system of learning through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Fifth graders from Hemmeter Elementary in Saginaw County will check on each officer every 30 minutes, taking their heart rates, temperatures and other key data that will be compiled to let the public know what temperatures are unbearable and the rate at which it happens.

“We want people to understand what is needed to create an overall healthy experience for their pets,” Barnes told WAN sharing that the response that they have received so far has been “awesome!”

Donations received during the event will benefit the Saginaw County Animal Control and Project Underdog.

WAN applauds officers Barnes, Guerrero, and Trevino as well as all the warm-hearted people that will be braving the cold tonight in order to raise awareness of what happens to pets left outside in freezing conditions and, more importantly, how to prevent their suffering and ensure their safety.

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