Urgent Message From PETA: Tips to Keep Everyone Safe During Cold Weather

For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2019

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Port Townsend, Wash. – Following reports that a 56-year-old woman reportedly froze to death outside in Port Townsend on Monday, PETA is issuing a warning: No one—dogs, cats, human children, or others—should ever be left outdoors for extended periods of time during freezing temperatures, especially on days as cold as Monday, when the temperature dipped to 27 degrees. Animals, children, and elderly people are the most vulnerable to the cold, and one mistake can cost a life.

Already this winter, there have been at least 10 cold weather–related animal deaths (last year, there were 50)—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most deaths of dogs, cats, and other animals go unreported. PETA makes the following suggestions:

  • Keep animals indoors. Freezing temperatures spell extreme hardship and even death for “backyard dogs,” who don’t receive vital extra rations of food during cold weather; can’t drink because water sources are often frozen, sometimes for days at a time; have poorly constructed or dilapidated shelter; lack suitable bedding (cloth freezes when wet); or may be denied veterinary care. If you see animals left outside without adequate protection from the elements and are unable to help, note their location and alert authorities immediately, following up with them until the animal is helped. (For information regarding what constitutes adequate shelter, click here.)
  • In freezing weather, 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 at least twice a day.

Anyone who leaves individuals they are responsible for—especially children, the elderly, and animals—outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted.

PETA has released a cold-weather public service announcement featuring Justin Theroux. For more information, visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind