MHS Offering Free Straw for Pets Kept Outdoors at Detroit Center for Animal Care
Fresh straw can save lives, keep pets warm and safe during cold winter nights

It may not seem like much – a bale of straw – but for dogs kept outdoors during a bitterly cold Michigan night, it can be the difference between life and death. As a supplement to an appropriate dog house, fresh straw for bedding is a critical component to provide warmth and insulation.

MHS Straw Drop

MHS Straw Drop

MHS Straw Drop

MHS Straw Drop

MHS Straw Drop

Until the weather warms back up again, the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) will be distributing free straw for pets at the MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care, located at 7401 Chrysler Drive.

Straw can be picked up any time during adoption center hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

“It tears at your heart to see dogs kept chained outside, with no place to go and nothing but a frozen sheet to lay on,” said Debby MacDonald, MHS Chief Cruelty Investigator and Facility Director at the Detroit Center for Animal Care.

“With fresh, clean straw, the dogs can burrow in and stay warm during a cold winter night. Towels and blankets just absorb moisture and freeze when the temperature drops.”

While the Michigan Humane Society strongly urges residents to keep their pets indoors year-round, many are still subjected to the harsh winter weather without proper provisions.

Michigan law requires proper shelter for dogs who must remain outdoors for any length of time.

Adequate shelter for dogs, as defined by state law, means a well-built, insulated, slant-roofed dog house.

The interior should be just large enough for the dog to stand and to lie down comfortably. It should be slightly elevated from the ground for air circulation. The door should face away from winds and have a protective flap to eliminate drafts.

Lack of proper care or shelter can result in misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, carrying a sentence of up to 93 days in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, community service and loss of pet ownership.

To report pets left outside without proper shelter in the MHS service area of Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park, call the MHS Cruelty Hotline at (313) 872-3401. In other areas, please contact the local animal control or police department. 

You can help support this program and many others by making a donation or becoming a monthly donor.


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Winter Straw DropHelp animals like ShortyOverlooked PetsThe New Detroit Animal Care CampusMarch for AnimalsGet 10% off your next purchase at


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The Michigan Humane Society is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to The Michigan Humane Society are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. MHS's tax identification number is 38-1358206. Somebody Here Needs You.

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