For Immediate Release:
February 5, 2018
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Akron, Ohio – Following reports that a 2-year-old girl froze to death outside on a porch in Akron on Friday, 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 Friday, when the temperature dipped to 19 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 46 cold weather–related animal deaths—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.