"We would never turn away a stray," Bartels said.
Every morning, Animal Care Specialist Jessica Bielema and the rest of the staff turn on space heaters and open doors to warm up the building. Each animal has two or three blankets to keep warmth inside the area. If one seems to be cold, one of the employees will give it another blanket warmed in the dryer.
"Even though it's really cold in here, it's not like they are in the wind and out in the elements," Bartels said.
The dogs are staying warm due to the heated floors. Some of the cats have developed small colds, but Bielema said most are staying warm enough.
"They've got a fur coat on," Bielema said.
The real hardship is at night when the staff go home and the space heaters have to be turned off. The building's temperature can drop to 55 degrees. One employee, who lives above the shelter, comes down every couple hours and places warm blankets and towels around the cats and dogs.
Beisdes keeping the space heaters running whenever they are at the shelter, staff members also are running water before they leave. Bartels said they would hate to have the pipes freeze in the cold weather.
"So many things are costing us money because of the initial thing that happened," Bartels said.