Please Include Animals in Winter Weather Coverage

For Immediate Release:
November 8, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is already predicting a long, cold “[s]eason of [s]hivers” this year, so PETA is sharing tips for keeping animals safe throughout winter.

Animals are especially vulnerable to extreme cold and winter storms: Countless companion animals endured cold weather–related deaths last winter, and hundreds more had to be rescued. (Those are just the deaths and rescues that were reported in the news—most aren’t.)

The following steps can go a long way in preventing animal suffering and deaths during the frigid winter months:

  • Keep Them Indoors

Companion animals should live indoors. “Backyard dogs” and “outdoor cats” suffer greatly in winter. They are no better equipped to survive freezing temperatures or extreme weather conditions than humans are, have less ability to keep dry and fewer (if any) warm places to shelter in, suffer terribly from frostbite, and can and do die of exposure.

  • Gear Up

Coats will keep dogs more comfortable in cold weather, and secure harnesses can help prevent them from getting loose on walks (and falling through the ice on frozen ponds). Keep walks short in cold weather, especially for shorthaired dogs. Clean salt and ice from between paw pads after walks.

  • Don’t Forget Birds

During extreme winter weather, provide birds and other wild animals with access to an emergency water supply by filling a heavy nonmetal water bowl (tongues can freeze to metal) and breaking the surface ice at least twice a day or buying an electric warmer for a bird bath.

Good Samaritans who see companion animals chained or penned outside 24/7 or outside without access to adequate shelter from the elements should note the animals’ exact location and alert local law-enforcement authorities immediately. Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted.

PETA has released a cold-weather public service announcement.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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