If you are cold, then your pet is cold.
Linda Turner, of Paw-N-Hand Rescue, has been out with her friends and colleagues trying to spread that very word to area pet owners.
"I cannot stress enough that they are not made for the cold weather, even though they have fur," she said. "People need to make adequate accommodations for their pets."
This past weekend Turner and Scarlet Firestone, Paw-N-Hand Rescue co-presidents, and Lupe Rangel with The Barking Bus Rescue, delivered doghouses and bedding hay to several homes in the Mount Olive area.
Rangel said there was a need in Mount Olive, and Turner said and she Firestone agreed.
"So we pooled our resources together," Turner said. "Lowe's donated 40 bales of hay. So Saturday (Dec. 30) we delivered 38 bales of hay. We helped 60 plus animals, mainly dogs, with that hay.
"The area we worked in Mount Olive is mainly a low-income area. The people wanted help, but lack of income, lack of education -- people, they just don't know. They grow up thinking, put them on a chain, throw them some food, and they are good."
But animals in the south are not prepared for the bitterly cold conditions the area is experiencing, she said.
"If we're cold, they're cold," Turner said.
The hay was used to make bedding in the doghouses since it holds heat, she said.
"So it helps hold in the body heat much better than pinestraw," Turner said. "That hay was the key. We took doghouses for those that didn't have any.
"The need is much, much greater than the resources that we have, but we have got to start somewhere."
On Monday night, they took another bale and doghouse to a woman who has a pregnant dog.
"As soon as Scarlet threw the hay in it, that mama dog got in there like she had hit a castle," Turner said. "It was just the best thing."
Turner and Firestone do animal rescue work countywide, but their motto is that rescue has no ZIP code.
"We go wherever we are needed," she said.
Turner is ready to do more, but the program is donation driven.
"We don't have any more resources right now, unfortunately," she said. "Without resources, without donations, our hands are tied. Whatever we do is donation driven, everything -- pet care, supplies, everything.
"We are going back and do it again when we get more supplies."
Turner is not only passionate about animal rescue, but about educating people to be better and more responsible pet owners.
"As we talked to these people and actually listened to these people -- people want to know," she said. "They want to know how to take care of their animals. Most of them love their animals.
"We have gotten some people we talked to agreeing to spaying and neutering. We are going to help them with that. We are going to try and raise money for that."
One man they talked to on Saturday had a "very pregnant mama dog," she said.
Turner asked him to surrender her to the rescuers, but he said no.
"We educated him on parvo in puppies, newborn puppies and the cold weather," she said. "That mama dog probably would have had her puppies right there on that porch.
"We gave him a doghouse. She would not go in it. She sat on the front porch shivering."
The man called Turner Monday night and agreed to surrender the dog.
"That is huge for us," she said. "We got through to him. To us, that is everything. So now that dog is at my house. People are listening to what we have to say because we are coming to them with education and understanding, no judgment. That is the biggest thing, we are not judging these people, we just want to help them.
"If we can help them keep their animals and teach them better care for them, that's what we want. We want people who care for their animals to keep them. The shelters are overpopulated. The rescues are overpopulated. So education is the key."
Turner said she has been contacted by a group from near coast that wants to team up with them and do the same thing in their area.
"They have a high volume of tethered animals, and they want us to go work with them and get the some thing going that we have got going here," she said.
For more information check the Paw-N-Hand Rescue Facebook page.
Donations can be mailed to Paw-N-Hand Rescue, P.O. Box 11184, Goldsboro, N.C. 27532.