Group Cautions That Leaving Animals Outside in Freezing Temperatures Is Deadly, Criminal Act
For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2015
Lauren Rutkowski 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – Every year, PETA receives thousands of complaints about people who leave dogs outside in the cold—which is not only cruel but also a crime in the state of Virginia. Although they are equipped with fur coats, dogs and other animals can still suffer from deadly frostbite and exposure, and they can become dehydrated when water sources freeze. Cold weather spells extra hardship for “backyard dogs,” who often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. That’s why PETA is working with law-enforcement officials across the country to press charges against people who illegally leave their animals outside to die or to shiver and ache in the cold all day and night.
With bitter temperatures and snowfall predicted for your area, will you please share the following information with your audience now and throughout the winter in order to help protect animals and keep Virginia’s laws enforced?
- Keep animals indoors, as required by law. This is absolutely critical when it comes to puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair, including pointers, beagles, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers. Short-haired animals will also benefit from a warm sweater or a coat on walks. Don’t allow your cat or dog to roam outdoors. During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started.
- Wipe off your dogs’ or cats’ legs, feet, and stomachs after they come in from the snow. Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them. You should also increase animals’ food rations during the winter because they burn more calories in an effort to stay warm.
- Keep an eye out for stray animals. Take unidentified animals indoors until you can find their guardians or take them to an animal shelter. If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide food and water and call your local humane society for assistance in trapping them and getting them indoors.
- If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements, please notify authorities. For information on what constitutes adequate shelter, click here.
- During extreme winter weather, birds and other animals may have trouble finding food and water. Offer rations to wildlife who are caught in storms or white-outs by spreading birdseed on the ground. Provide access to liquid water by filling a heavy water bowl and breaking the surface ice twice a day. Remember to remove the food once the weather improves to encourage the animals to move on to warmer areas.