TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Community members are doing their part to prepare for the dangerously cold temperatures expected later this week.

The Terre Haute Humane Society says people should bring their pets inside during the extreme cold. But for those concerned about stray animals, the shelter is giving out free boxes and straw.

“It’s important to use straw and not hay, due to moisture and things like that. So what we’re going to do is be giving out those boxes. You can put them in yard if you have a community with a high stray cat population, it’s really good for things like that,” said Madeleine Brown, Adoption Counselor and Foster Coordinator at THHS.

It can help keep stray animals in your neighborhood safe.

There is a city ordinance in Terre Haute regarding pets and cold weather. Code enforcement tells us when temperatures are under 20 degrees, animals must be brought inside or into a temperature-controlled environment. When the temperature is above 20 degrees, but below 30 degrees animals can be outside, but they must have straw and be off the ground.

“We are so over capacity right now. We try to take in absolutely everything, but those animals that we can’t get in here or even feral animals definitely need some help staying alive,” explained Brown.

The shelter will be distributing boxes and straw from one to four on Wednesday. Again, they’re free, but donations are always appreciated.