- Associated Press - Saturday, November 17, 2018

SAVANNAH, Mo. (AP) - A cat owner in northwestern Missouri is crafting makeshift shelters to help keep stray cats warm during the winter months.

Savannah resident Lindy Anderson built the temporary shelters out of Styrofoam coolers, which she stuffed with straw and fitted with a cat-sized cutout entryway, the St. Joseph News-Press reported . Anderson is giving the small shelters away for free.

She started the initiative a few years ago after thinking about how many animals without homes must freeze to death in the winter.

Anderson, who has six cats of her own, made about 25 shelters in the first year, sharing the project on Facebook. Demand for the shelters grew so much that she made about 200 last year.

Anderson said she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the shelter box initiative without the help of her husband, Kevin, and her son, Aidan Churchwell.

“The first year it was just the three of us doing it, last year we had six or eight volunteers and this year we had the biggest turnout with 10 or 14 people,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s friend provides the straw and a close friend has lent her a trailer to haul the coolers.

Anderson doesn’t charge for the shelter boxes, but she does accept donations. She bought this year’s materials with last year’s donations.

Talia Logan recently picked up a cat shelter from Anderson after seeing her Facebook post.

“I think it’s awesome, because if we take care of the population and do things like feed them, spay them, neuter them, the pests are cut down, and you know they need to be warm, too,” Logan said. “It’s heartbreaking to find a frozen animal outside, whether it’s a cat or even an opossum.”

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Information from: St. Joseph News-Press/St. Joe, Missouri, http://www.newspressnow.com

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