During the coldest part of the year in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Jeff Campbell has chosen to wear shorts every day. It may not seem like that big a deal – a man has a right to wear shorts in whatever weather he likes — but people question his decision anyway. They may not always voice their concerns, but upon seeing him working outdoors in chilly weather in his shorts, questions spring to mind: Isn’t he cold? Won’t he get sick? Why doesn’t he go inside?
Jeff first started wearing his shorts in the cold as a personal challenge, but as a lifelong animal lover and kennel owner, pets are never far from his mind. After hearing news reports about dogs being left outdoors, Jeff felt the need to do something. Now, he’s hoping that the sight of his legs this winter will get people thinking about the pets that are being left out in temperatures that sometimes dip below freezing. If we ask questions about a man who can go indoors any time he wants, shouldn’t we be asking these questions about pets who can’t?
Of course, Jeff would much rather be in warm clothes. He tells the Mount Vernon News that he does get very cold, to the point that his legs will go numb. Though it would be easy enough to put on pants, Jeff’s small gesture has a big message he feels compelled to share: it’s cold out, bring your dogs inside.
As he has gained some attention, he’s hoping to put some of it on the shelters in need this season. Shelters are continually stretched thin, but as the weather gets colder, many are getting calls from concerned citizens about neighbors’ dogs being left outside. Jeff tells the Mount Vernon News,
“They need help. I know they’re taxed beyond belief right now, they’re getting hundreds if not thousands of calls. And it was an easy decision to go and help the local shelters.”
Jeff has started a “Shorts for Shelters” GoFundMe campaign to benefit the Knox County Animal Shelter and the Knox County Humane Society. Both shelters are working hard to make sure that no pets are lost to the cold, and Jeff hopes to help give them a little relief, as he knows this is a very busy time for them.
Consider giving to Jeff’s cause, or donating to your local rescue group to help bring awareness to the dogs left out in the cold. It’s easier than wearing shorts in freezing weather!