Heroic Officers’ Bold, Cold ‘Backyard Dog’ Protest Nabs PETA Award

Saginaw County Animal Control Officers to Spend Night Outdoors to Draw Attention to Animals Left Outside in Frigid Weather

For Immediate Release:
January 11, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Freeland, Mich.

A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to Saginaw County Animal Control in recognition of the three officers who will be spending a bitterly cold night tomorrow stuck outside, calling attention to the plight of “backyard dogs” who can only curl into a ball and shake throughout the night, banished outside even when temperatures are below freezing and their bones ache. The officers were prompted to take action after being inundated with calls from concerned citizens about animals left outdoors in freezing temperatures—something PETA sees each winter and works hard to combat by delivering doghouses and straw bedding and pushing for no-chaining and no-penning ordinances that compel people to bring in dogs who would otherwise suffer through the winter.

Two of the officers will be chained to custom-made doghouses—one with straw and the other with a blanket—and the third officer will be chained up with no shelter at all. They’ll record Facebook Live videos throughout the night, and students from Hemmeter Elementary School will be on hand to monitor their conditions and observe how quickly the water bowls and food freeze over, all to call people’s attention to neglected animals. Medical personnel will be on the scene to ensure the officers’ well-being—a safety net not afforded to the animals whose bones ache and who may become dehydrated through the long winter days and nights.

When:    Friday, January 12, 6–8 a.m.

Where:    Apple Mountain, 4519 N. River Rd., Freeland

“These heroes for animals have appeared not a moment too soon, as dozens of animals have died this winter alone after being left outside in freezing temperatures—and those are only the reported deaths,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “Animals are in danger every hour they spend outdoors in extreme weather, and PETA hopes this brave and bone-chilling protest will persuade people to bring their animals indoors with the rest of the family.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that in cold temperatures, animals can suffer from deadly frostbite and exposurebecome dehydrated when water sources ice over, and die. If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements and are unable to help, note their location and alert authorities immediately. (Reports from good Samaritans have helped PETA save nearly 3,000 animals already this winter.) For information regarding what constitutes adequate shelter, click here.

Saginaw County Animal Control officers will receive a framed certificate, a box of delicious vegan cookies, and a letter of congratulations.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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