A boiler that keeps three dog kennels at the Canyon County Animal Shelter warm broke on Thursday, and the shelter is accepting donated blankets to help keep the dogs off the cold floor, said shelter Executive Director Barbara Hutchinson. Large propane heaters were rented to help warm up the kennels and prevent pipes from freezing.
Temperatures in Caldwell dropped to -2 on Friday and Saturday, and -6 on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
The parts needed to fix the boiler had to be ordered, and she's expecting repairs will be made this week, Hutchinson said. The county owns and maintains the building.
"I know the maintenance guy at the county is frantically trying to get this taken care of," she said. One of the parts has to be machined.
The rest of the building's heating system is working fine, so the puppies and kittens aren't shivering in the cold.
Community members responded to a call Friday for donated blankets to put down on concrete floors. She said the shelter can use all the blankets it can get and will keep them for future use.
Volunteers are staying overnight at the shelter to make sure the rented heaters are functioning properly and to watch over things. She said it's about 50 degrees in the kennels now.
"A lot of these dogs are outside dogs, so it's not going to bother them very much," Hutchinson said. Dogs with shorter hair were moved to warmer areas.
The shelter took second place and other prizes in the Rachael Ray Challenge, winning a grand total of $57,000. About $10,000 was recently spent on fencing a yard so there's an area for the dogs to run around and burn off energy. Most of the rest of the money from the contest will be used to improve cat cages and cat adoption rooms.
Hutchinson said the shelter, which cares for about 6,000 animals each year, is always in need for donated cat food both canned and dry. The Canyon County Animal Shelter is at 5801 Graye Lane in Caldwell. The phone number is: 455-5920. Shelter hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m, Monday to Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.