Author Archives: Friendship APL

2022 FAPL Golf Outing

It’s that time of year again for our annual FAPL Golf Outing! The golf outing is a great time, with lots of golf activities, food, drinks, raffles and more! 

Join the Friendship Animal Protective League for a wonderful day of golf at Elyria Country Club on Monday September 26th, 2022. The Elyria Country Club is located at 41625 Oberlin Elyria Road, Elyria Oh 44035. Shotgun start time will be 12:00pm. Proceeds from this outing benefits animals seized by Friendship APL Humane Officers and helps offset the cost the shelter incurs from spaying/neutering and other medical expenses. 

Registration/ticket sales are open at this time. There are limited tickets available so register while you can! Tickets are $175. With a ticket, enjoy 18 holes of golf, cart rental, driving range, 2 Beer Keg tickets, 2 Mulligans, 10 Raffle Tickets, unlimited pop, water, iced tea, Gatorade, box lunch, barbeque dinner, contests & fun all to benefit the Friendship APL!

Sponsor opportunities for this event are available as well. Information on sponsorships, or regular event registration can be found by clicking below:

Friendship APL Teams Up with the Heart Association for the 2022 Lorain County Walk!

The Friendship Animal Protective League will be teaming up with the Heart Association for the 2022 Lorain County Heart Walk! This year the Heart walk is taking place on September 10th at the Lake Erie Crushers Stadium. Registration begins at 8am and the walk itself starts at 9am.

The Friendship APL will have their own “team” which is composed of two coaches. Anyone who wishes to pledge/donate can join Team FAPL using this link:

Everything You Need to Know About Feline Panleukopenia

It is that time of year, the time that most shelter staff and volunteers prepare for, but can never fully be ready for. Kitten season. While most “outsiders” may grasp the concept of kitten season, which is essentially an influx of kitten intakes due to stray/feral reproduction, many do not realize what comes next. People tend to be more familiar with parvo, a deadly illness that tends to affect puppies and can often be fatal if not treated quickly and efficiently. What people are less familiar with is Feline Panleukopenia, which affects cats and kittens (more commonly) and is comparatively as fatal as parvo in dogs/puppies. Feline Panleukopenia spreads easily and quickly, and if not caught in a timely manner is very hard to treat. Below is all the information you should know about Feline Panleukopenia and how/if it may affect you. You will also be able to read about ways this deadly disease can be prevented. 

Please find the linked article from the American Veterinary Medical Association that has everything you need to know about FP Virus:

Why Two Puppies are NOT Better than One!

Many potential adopters are driven to our facilities because of the puppies we place up for adoption. Every week, the excitement we see from our “puppy posts” seem to grow, but we also continue to see one common question. “Can I adopt more than one?” Most potential adopters are taken back when they learn our adoption policy doesn’t allow for two puppies from the same litter to go home together. Behavioral research in dogs has been done and provides evidence as to why puppies are better off NOT going home with their siblings. This explanation is referred to as littermate syndrome. 

Littermate syndrome is not something that always occurs, but it is a risk that is taken when two sibling puppies are brought home together. While at first it may seem cute, the puppies will begin to act out. Common behaviors could be correction growls/snaps at one another, the two siblings competing, harder to get the attention of the puppies, fearfulness of people etc. In other words, the siblings either compete with one another, which leads to scuffles and behavior issues. Or, the siblings will feed off one another, meaning they isolate themselves from the other animals or the people in the home. 

Another issue discussed occurs when adopters suggest taking two puppies, but from different litters, home at the same time. While they may think this is a compromise to the Litter Syndrome issue, there are other factors that play into why this is still not a feasible idea. Most puppies that are adopted only have their first set of Distemper 5-way vaccinations. To be considered fully vaccinated, they need to have three sets of this vaccine. This vaccine is what helps prevent puppies from contracting illnesses such as parvo. Exposing two, unrelated puppies to one another, could cause one or both puppies to become sick. It is best and recommended that after adopting one puppy, an adopter should wait at least until the puppy is up to date on all sets of vaccines before introducing another dog/puppy into the home. Not only does this prevent illness, but it gives the puppy time to adjust to its new home, environment and routine. 

Wheels for Wags 2022

Wheels for Wags is back again this year! We hope to see continued supporters as well as new supporters this year for an event that is full of fun! Read below to find out what the event is all about!

Wheels for Wags is a charity car show with 100% of the proceeds going to Friendship APL. The cost to enter a car is in the event is $10 and all makes and models are welcome. Spectators are free. There will be a DJ playing oldies music, tons of raffle baskets, door prizes, awards, dash plaques for the registered cars, food, bake sale, dogs for adoption and a pet blessing! Something for everyone! 

If anyone is interested in registering a car for the event please reach out to Joyce. Her information can be found on the flyer below. Share this event with your friends and family! 

Petco Grant Celebration!

The Friendship APL would like to invite all of our supporters, whether that be donors, adopters, volunteers or just those who would like to be more involved with our organization to join us at the Petco Grant Celebration! We have generously received a grant from the Petco Love Foundation and will be celebrating this amazing contribution with our friends at the Elyria Petco! 

This celebration will be on Saturday June 28th from 11am-11:30pm. While the event will not be super long, there will be lots to see/hear! Join us for the check presentation, media coverage, speeches from both our director, Greg Willey and a Petco Love representative and learn how we will use the grant to continue our live saving efforts! 

Friendship APL partners with Petco to help network and adopt out some of our available cats! We will have cats available for adoption through the Elyria Petco at the time of the celebration event. Adoption fees for adult cats are $25 and adoption fees for kittens are $60. 

Please see the below flyer about the event, check out the event listing on our Facebook page and feel free to read the press release below as well!

Getting “Hip” at Friendship APL

Jay Jay with Director Greg Willey

Our Jay Jay has had quite the arduous journey. When he arrived at our shelter, our staff noticed right away that there was something wrong with his rear end. One of our staff commented that he looked like he sashayed across the room. We took Jay Jay, the 6 month-old border collie to Animal Clinic Northview to get X-Rays done and see what was going on with his hips. As it turns out, he basically had no hips! At first, we thought it was a genetic condition, but we would later discover that this was due to some sort of trauma or abuse. 

Jay Jay going home with his awesome new family!

Despite all that this pup had been through, Jay Jay had a wonderful and playful personality. We could also tell that his hips were causing him discomfort. He would tire quickly after even a short walk or a little play. Mostly, he just wanted to rest his head in your lap and look up at you with his puppy dog eyes. The Friendship APL team decided that the best outcome for Jay Jay would be to have him find a wonderful, adoptive family prior to correcting his hip issues. Within a week, Jay Jay was off to his new home. The Francis’ were the perfect home. They allowed him to adjust to his new life. They carried him up and down the stairs to bed every night. You could just tell that they all adored each other.

Jay Jay made his first trip to see Dr. Day at Metropolitan Vet Clinic. He determined that Jay Jay needed to wait until he was at least 10 months old before undergoing surgery. He would require not one total hip replacement surgery but two. This surgery is very risky, as the veterinarian has no idea what he is going to find until the surgery has begun. He warned us of all the possible things that could go wrong. We weighed that against the possibility of a long, healthy and pain free life. The risk was worth it!

Jay Jay with his family after having his first hip replacement surgery.

On April 19th, Jay Jay had his first hip replacement surgery. We all had our fingers and paws crossed as we waited for news on the surgery. When Dr. Day called and let us know that the surgery had gone great, we all breathed a sigh of relief. When the owners met me to pick him up, they were overcome with joy and held him in their arms. 

Right now, Jay Jay is recovering from the surgery. It will still be weeks before we know how well the hip works. He will then have to do it all over again. Thankfully, he is getting all the TLC he could possibly ever want from the best adopters a dog could hope to find. 

Jaxon’s Story

Adoptable dog Jax is all smiles these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Jax came to Friendship after he was struck by a vehicle. His leg unfortunately took most of the impact and with the cost of surgery and vet care in general rising, his family made the decision to surrender him to FAPL. By surrendering Jax to our care, we were able to get him to our partner Veterinarian and the help he needed. Jax’s leg was too far gone and the decision to amputate was made. Jax has since made a full recovery and has completely overcome any adversity three legs have thrown his way.

Jax has a resilient, brave and loyal personality, which has proven to capture the hearts of all of the staff and volunteers here at FAPL. After getting his second chance at life, he spent time in our Prison Program freshening up on basic commands such as sit, down, stay and heel. This handsome boy is a prime example of how your generosity and donations are used to provide second chances for dogs and cats. Jax is still available and looking for his forever home!


Your gift doubles today to save lives and help local pets like Jaxson find their forever homes. Can the animals at Friendship APL count on you? Help us raise $30,000 to save the lives of homeless pets like Jaxson and find them forever homes. Your gift automatically DOUBLES when you give now. Thank you for helping local dogs and cats!

Kitten Season 101: What Should You Do?

A Guide for Getting Through Kitten Season

Article Written by Staff Member Shelby Dowdell with the help of Staff Hannah Schramm, Heath Hershman and

The goal of the below article is to educate the community about what kitten season truly means on a much larger scale. Whether it be your neighbor feeding unfixed strays, kittens/cats getting dumped on your property, or even finding kittens in unfamiliar places, all of us are bound to experience a situation like this in our lifetime. Hopefully, this article helps you better understand how to handle one of those situations. It may be your chance to save a kitten or cat’s life. 

Kitten season is a term we use to describe the spring season that most male and female adult cats mate. Female cats are able to start reproducing as young as six months old, meaning even kittens can have kittens. With a gestation period of about 60 days, cats become pregnant multiple times in a single year, leading to health issues for both mom and her kittens. That is why it is important for our community to work together and get the outdoor cats of our neighborhoods spayed/neutered. As an organization we understand that during kitten season, finding kittens is a scenario that seems inevitable. So what do you do?

Many times well meaning people will jump the gun and take kittens from their hiding places when they happen upon them. What may seem like an odd place to a person coming across kittens, areas such as holes in trees, under porches or in bushes are the perfect hiding space for a mother cat to keep her newly born kittens hidden and protected. 

These guys were pink, decently warm, moving, and making a lot of noise when they were brought in. Momma was doing a fine job with them and was absolutely coming back to feed them. Mom cats leave, they have to eat too, or else their babies can’t. They know how long to be gone and, unless there are extenuating circumstances, they always come back.

The below information posted originally from helps explain what you can and should do when you stumble upon a kitten or kittens:

“When you discover kittens outdoors, it can be tempting to scoop them up and bring them indoors. However, it is important to know that this is almost never in a kitten’s best interest. So, what exactly do you do?”

Kittens Younger than 8 Weeks WITH Their Mother:

Leave them be! Kittens who are healthy and thriving with their mother outdoors do not need to be “rescued.”

Remember: Mother knows best. You cannot replace a mother cats’ instinctive care. Plus, neonatal kittens (kittens 4 weeks old and younger) need round-the-clock care to survive—which is challenging for humans to provide. These kittens are unweaned, meaning they still rely on their mother’s milk.

Why Can’t I Bring the Kittens AND Their Mother Indoors?

Even if your home is very nice, a mother cat may become so stressed by being confined in the new environment that it impacts her health and her ability to care for her kittens.

Community cats thrive in their outdoor home and the mother cat has likely chosen an ideal space to raise her kittens, so there is no need to intervene.

How CAN I Help Mother Cat and Kittens While They are Outdoors?

You can’t do a mother cat’s job, but you can make her more comfortable as she cares for her kittens outdoors. Provide her with essentials like:

  • Regular food and water. A nursing mother cat can always use some extra wet food so she can keep providing necessary nutrients to her kittens.
  • An outdoor shelter. Mother cats like to raise their kittens in nests, where they feel hidden and protected. An outdoor shelter is a perfect safe space. You can purchase one or build one yourself.
  • Peace and quiet. Keep an eye on mother and kittens, but don’t approach or let dogs or other cats come near. Doing so will cause her stress.

What if the Kittens Are in Danger?

If a kitten is sick or injured, contact your local veterinarian right away if your kittens show these signs:

  • Thin bellies, gaunt faces, visible ribs/spine
  • Cold ears, bellies, and paws
  • Pale gums and tongue
  • Lethargy/almost no movement
  • Excessively crusted eyes or nose
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Struggling to breathe
  • Limping
  • Visible wounds or sores
  • Crying out in pain

There may be rare circumstances in which the kittens’ current environment places them in immediate danger. This is not a common scenario, so use common sense. For example, kittens may need to be removed if they are in an area that is about to be flooded or is close to a fire.

  • If possible, move the kittens to another outdoor spot as close to their original nest as is safe so their mother can find them.

If you believe mother and kittens are in more long-term danger, such as extreme weather or disaster conditions:

  • Bring the whole family inside to a quiet, small room (like a bathroom). You can also use a large dog crate, covered with a blanket.

Provide the mother cat and kittens with a carrier as a hiding place. Provide food and water, and a litter box placed as far away from the sleeping and eating area as possible.

Kittens Younger than 8 Weeks WITHOUT Their Mother:

  • First and foremost: Do not assume that kittens are abandoned or orphaned just because you do not see their mother. A mother cat will temporarily leave her kittens for good reasons, like looking for food. She may even be hiding and waiting for YOU to leave.
  • Wait and watch. Always wait several hours, or even a full day to see if a mother cat returns. Watch from a hidden spot or from inside so you don’t scare the mother cat away. Your presence may keep her from returning to her kittens’ nest.

Even if you don’t see the mother cat for a long time, check on the kittens periodically. If they are cuddled together and sleeping quietly, look pink, warm, and clean, and have full bellies, then their mother has very likely been back. You just didn’t notice. Community cats are good at staying out of sight when they want!

(A Helpful Tip: Sprinkle flour near the kittens’ nest. If the mother cat returns, she will leave paw prints.)

  • If you have waited for several hours or more than a day and have reason to believe the kittens’ mother is no longer around, step in to help them. Neonatal kittens (kittens 4 weeks old and younger) will need special supplies and round-the-clock care to survive.”

If you follow these steps and determine there is something wrong, there are many resources available for learning how to feed these little guys and keep them warm and cared for until a foster can be secured. You can network with local veterinarians and rescues but please do understand that with kitten season there are never enough hands, so if you are willing and able please consider keeping these guys yourself if you can until a space opens up.

Hopefully, this article can be used as a tool for you when or if you find yourself in any of the above situations. 

Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitos…OH MY!

Why You Shouldn't Think Twice About Flea/Tick/Heartworm Prevention

Article written by Intake Staff Member Hannah Schramm

Although it does not feel like it, Spring is here- and so are common external parasites like fleas and ticks. Finding a parasite on your pet can be especially startling. The easiest way to deter fleas and ticks from living on your pet is by applying a monthly preventative, typically distributed by your veterinarian, pet store, or pet pharmacy. Preventatives can be given to your pets orally, like a treat, or topically, on the back of their necks, depending on the product. Parasite preventatives also act as deworming treatments and fight against other common parasites that live internally as well. Flea and tick preventatives not only keep your pets comfortable from otherwise bothersome pests, but also help protect them from diseases that can be transmitted through tick bites, such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis. In Ohio, Lyme Disease is becoming increasingly more common due to the rising tick population. Veterinarians and animal shelters alike are seeing a rapid increase in cases of tick borne disease and Friendship APL and their rescue partner organizations are no exception.

Parasite preventatives may also include a component that protects against Heartworm Disease. Heartworm Disease is a condition that is transmitted through carrier mosquitos. Heartworm Disease, if left untreated, can result in lung disease, heart failure, damage to other organs, and even death. Before starting on a Heartworm preventative, your pet may be tested for the disease by your vet. Products including the Heartworm Disease preventative must be obtained through your veterinarian or through a pet pharmacy with a prescription from your vet. Cats and dogs alike are affected by these diseases, likewise, they can be treated preemptively with appropriate products.

The Friendship Animal Protective League offers parasite preventatives for the public at a low cost ($15 for cats and $18 for dogs) that can be purchased at the front desk.

FAPL Egg-Stravaganza 2022

First Annual FAPL Egg-stravaganza is a Success!

We are officially able to say our 1st Annual Egg-Starvaganza event was a success! On April 16th, FAPL hosted a community event, almost two years after events stopped due to the global pandemic. The Egg-stravaganza was free to attend and included an egg hunt for both children and dogs, face paint for the children, photos with the Easter bunny, raffle baskets and food/beverages! The event was also held on one of our busiest adoption days to help drive foot traffic into the shelter! With around 150 people in attendance, lots of fun and laughs, staff and volunteers were happy to host a successful event. Lots of children, dogs and parents had a great time as shown by the many pictures below! Check out some of the wonderful families and dogs that came out to our event! We hope to continue this Egg-stravaganza event annually and make it even better next year!

Pat-a-Pet Program

A Volunteer Program that Brings Happiness to Our Senior Community

Article Written by the volunteer that started this program: Ginny Green

Pat-a-pet allows volunteers from FAPL to bring some of our animals, mostly dogs, to nursing homes for visits with the residents. Pat-a-pet is a wonderful program! Obviously I believe that because I have been involved with it for 16 years now. Why so wonderful? Ask the residents at the nursing homes who are the recipients of our visits.

Wesleyan Village Resident enjoying the company of one of our adoptable dogs

Many of the residents miss their dear pets from years ago, others have no visitors at all, and most have a lifelong love of animals. We put a smile on their faces.  Then there are the animals we take for the visits. Usually we take a dog, but we have taken cats/kittens, rabbits, a ferret, and Guinea pigs in a basket!

For the animals, they get a break from the shelter (& a car ride!) and lots of love!!! It helps them be a more well rounded pet and even more sought after! Its always good to tell potential adopters about how well the dogs did at the nursing home! And last of all, those volunteers from the shelter who take the animals for the visit….They benefit from all of this happiness! There is a deep satisfaction that one gets from volunteering and participating in this program.
     How did I get involved? I saw firsthand the magic between animals and those living in the nursing home. I took my own dog, Ginger, to visit my grandfather who was on his deathbed at the nursing home. It took me a great deal of time to get to his room… so many of the residents wanted to pet Ginger and to talk to me. When I retired from teaching the next year, I inquired about such a program at the APL. Yes it existed! However, the visit only occurred when the humane officer could fit it in her busy schedule. I was very happy to oblige!
     I managed the visits on my own for many years. Others volunteering at the shelter showed some interest in joining me. I then created a schedule. We continued this way until I retired from the schedule of visitation to just maintaining the schedule…. to make sure this marvelous program continues to exist for the good of all. I want to thank all of the volunteers who are invested in this program just as much as I am. Without them this program would not be as magical as it is!

Volunteer Spotlight

How One Volunteer has Made a Lasting Impact

Article Written by FAPL Volunteer Lisa Molnar

My name is Lisa Molnar and I’ve been volunteering at FAPL for 5 years.  My love for animals was something instilled in me my entire life as a young girl.  I initially began volunteering to walk and spend time with the dogs.  What started out as a few hours each week, turned into 3 days a week, and often more. Quite a few dogs came home with me on a Friday night for a “sleepover away from the shelter”, which was something I so enjoyed doing a few years ago as well. Dogs then would be promoted on social media the next day, which almost always led to immediate adoptions!  One of the last sleepover dogs ended up staying permanently, so as my house became quite full I had to sop doing this. Upon retirement from my teaching job, I began spending more and more time at the shelter and quickly fell in love spending time with the cats as well. 

My passion has always been in photography, and I also help take pictures for the website and social media, too.  This led to me starting my own FaceBook page called Meet the Adoptables at Friendship APL a few years ago.  It has grown to over 6,000 followers and quite a few adoptions!  I started this page to promote many of the animals on a daily basis, and to also share stories of animals that are now in loving homes.  As a volunteer, I now spend time walking the dogs, caring for and socializing cats, cleaning litter boxes and other general cleaning, taking dogs for outings to the park, working daily on the website and my FB page, contacting and helping to train new volunteers, and anything else that may arise! My time at Friendship APL, while often exhausting, has truly been something that has been so rewarding!

An Adoption Story: Elsie

Article Written by Staff Member: Shelby

Elsie came to us with her tail tucked between her legs and her head hanging low. She had just spent 10 weeks in a loud, crowded, city kennel in Cleveland with no luck finding a new home. Elsie then made her way to Friendship APL, for a second chance at finding a fur-ever home.

Elsie getting her photo taken for our website. She always had the saddest eyes.

Staff and volunteers at Friendship APL looked at Elsie and thought she mirrored Eor, from Winnie the Pooh. While she had always been friendly and sweet, you couldn’t help but notice her shy, gentle demeanor. Many of us wondered if there was a bubblier personality waiting to show itself.

On January 25th, Elsie met with a couple who hoped she would be theirs. Only one thing stood between Elsie and a car ride to her new home….a four-legged sibling. The couple already had a female dog of their own and FAPL needed to make sure the two dogs got along. After a few minutes of shy sniffs, pure playfulness broke out between the two dogs. Little vocal play gruffs, play bows, tail wags you name it! It was love at first sight for the now sister dogs. Needless to say Elsie busted out of our shelter doors ready to start her new life!

Elsie in the car ride home, after being adopted from FAPL.

Elsie with her new four-legged sister, Zola.

After a few days, a Facebook message sent to us by Elsie’s adopters confirmed she was meant to stay. Elsie is adjusting beautifully to her new home. She enjoys naps on the couch, car rides with the windows down, and of course zoomies with her new dog friend. Elsie is just one example of a home bringing out the best of a shutdown shelter dog.


Elsie, now known as Ruby, is described by her adopter below:


“Ruby has been doing very well at home and has become best friends with our dog Zola! She is a completely different dog than when we first met her. If she is not sleeping with her humans she is running and playing with Zola. She was super shy when we first saw her and we are so glad that we are able to provide her with the love and comfort that has allowed her to open up.”

Protecting Outdoor Cats from the Elements

What’s “Cooler” than a DIY Cat Shelter?

Article Written By: Joyce Castrigano, an FAPL volunteer and foster who donates her time to make these shelters for the outdoor cats in our community

If you have ever owned a cat, you know that they love to be warm and cozy. They take any opportunity to soak up the sunlight through a window, in a basket of laundry fresh out of the dryer, or in any available lap! These are the lucky ones.

For the feral and stray cats that live their lives outdoors, winter can be harsh. Without appropriate shelter, subzero temperatures can cause frostbite or hypothermia, which can result in death. Just because they have a fur coat, it doesn’t mean they are comfortable in the cold. Just like our indoor pets, they are always looking for a warm, dry place, which can get them into some dangerous situations. 

Even though these cats are independent, they can always use our help to stay warm and survive winter. Providing an inexpensive, simple-to-construct shelter can be their saving grace. I’ve been making shelters for needy cats for several years and have tried many different methods, but I’ve found a quick and easy way to make an effective shelter that the cats truly love!

STEP 1: Obtain a styrofoam cooler

Click on the infographic above to blow the image up. Infographic created by: Shelby Dowdell

that is at least 20 in x 14in. A more ideal size is 24in x 16in x 15in high (which can fit two cats). Just remember the bigger the cooler the harder it is to keep the heat from dispersing. 

***Omaha Steaks coolers work well, and most hospitals and pharmacies get coolers that they may be able  to donate***

STEP 2: Buy scrap 2×4’s at Home Depot that they cut down for me to about 15in. I place 2 of them under the cooler and attach them with long screws and washers through the bottom of the cooler. One piece is flat and the other is up on its side which angles the cooler down. This way, the water and snow run off the top; if water gets inside, it will run down and drain out of the small hole that I poke in the corner with a screwdriver. (SEE INFOGRAPHIC FOR EXAMPLE)

***Having this wood base keeps the shelter off the ground and weighs it down so it doesn’t blow away***

STEP 3: Next, I cut around a 6 or 7 inch hole in the longer side of the cooler that is sloped down to be the “door”. I have found that a pumpkin carving tool works great for this but any exacto knife should be fine.

STEP 4: I then line the inside (including the underside of the lid) with a material called Reflectix. This is like Mylar blankets that reflect heat back onto the source, so the shelter is heated with the cats’ own body heat. I cut the pieces to fit and glue them in with an adhesive called Loctite Power Grab. Be careful not to get adhesive on the area that will cover the door opening. After they are secured, I tape all seams for reinforcement with Nashua duct tape. I have found these items to work well and all can be found at Home Depot. 

STEP 5: Once that is done, I use a sharp razor knife to cut the Reflectix that is covering the opening like a pie cut into 6 pieces. The cat can push through it, and it closes back up behind them which really helps to keep the shelter warm. I’ve found that if I cut the tips of the “pie slices” (in the center of the opening) to make a small peephole, they feel more comfortable using it. (SEE INFOGRAPHIC FOR EXAMPLE)

After your “cooler” cat shelter is built, it’s time to fill it halfway with straw. Do not use hay or blankets, as these can retain moisture and will make the shelter wet and cold. I then put the lid back on, securing it with a couple pieces of tape on the sides so it doesn’t blow off. The tape can easily be lifted to check the straw for moisture and replaced if necessary. Sometimes the cats scratch at the outside of the cooler which can cause damage, so I cover the outside with adhesive shelf liner which deters scratching. For added warmth, a fabric pouch filled with rice and microwaved can be placed under the straw. Also, there is a product available called the Snuggle Safe heating disc which can also be microwaved and will stay warm for 12 hours. 

There are other methods that can be used to build a shelter (such as using a Rubbermaid tote) and there are many good ideas online, but I have found this to be the easiest method if you can get your hands on a sturdy, appropriate-sized cooler.

Whatever type of shelter you can provide, your cat will surely thank you for it!