''Straw Drop'' hopes to keep animals warm

Two women in Leelanau County want to make sure that even those who are struggling financially have a way to keep their outdoor animals warm.

The Leelanau County Straw Drop has kicked off in Suttons Bay.

It got its start when co-sponsors Laurie and Andrea noticed how many animals stay outside during the winter months. They decided to begin collecting straw to give away to those who need it.

"People forget that essential care of outdoor animals involves food, water, and warmth," said Laurie Conney of 45th Parallel Pet Services, a Co-Sponsor of Straw Drop. "All of that provides for a secure environment, a healthy animal. And it isn't just dogs - it's dogs, cats, any critter that's living outdoors on the small animal scale. "There are goats, there are rabbits, there are geese, birds, so we're all over that."

You can drop off or pick up straw any time at Hillside Feed and Supply in Suttons Bay until January 18. On Saturday the 18, Hillside will have a giveaway event from 10am-2pm for anyone to pick up straw if they need it. They will take and give away donations at any time through the 18 for anyone in need of straw, and if you would like to give monetary donations they will use it to purchase straw.

They are hoping to continue the Straw Drop through the winter, and in coming years.