For Immediate Release:
November 11, 2019
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Birmingham, Ala. – As a freeze warning is in effect and with the arctic cold surge––which could break 300 records for cold temperatures across the U.S., according to the National Weather Service––expected to hit this week, animals, who can suffer from deadly frostbite and exposure, become dehydrated when water sources ice over, and die, are at risk. Last winter, there were at least 29 cold weather–related animal deaths—and those are just the ones that were reported. Most are not.
These are some of the dog deaths across the U.S. that were reported:
- While responding to a complaint in Butler County, Ohio, the local dog warden found a German shepherd dead inside his doghouse. Although there were four bales of straw on the owners’ front porch, they hadn’t put any straw bedding in the doghouse.
- In Hartford, Connecticut, officers responding to a complaint from a concerned neighbor found a chained pit bull mix who had died of hypothermia. He was also found inside his doghouse.
- In Lynchburg, Virginia, an animal control officer performing a welfare check found a chained dog who had frozen to death inside his doghouse.
Keep animals indoors. Freezing temperatures spell extra hardship for “backyard dogs,” who often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements and are unable to help, note their location and alert authorities immediately. (For information regarding what constitutes adequate shelter, click here.)
In cold weather, you can provide birds and other animals with access to water by filling a heavy nonmetal water bowl (tongues can freeze to metal) and breaking the surface ice twice a day. When weather improves, be sure to remove any food offerings to encourage animals to move on to warmer areas.
Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted.
PETA has released a cold-weather PSA—voiced by Tom Hardy, Casey Affleck, and Priyanka Chopra—and this animated PSA, both of which urge everyone to bring dogs inside from the cold. For more information, visit PETA.org.