For Immediate Release:
February 26, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Northampton, Mass. – Following reports that a dog had to be rescued from a frozen river in Northampton, PETA is sharing tips for keeping animals safe—particularly given a recent increase in reports of dogs falling into frozen lakes and ponds.
While some of these dogs have been rescued, others have died, and so have some guardians who tried to rescue them. (Please see these recent stories—from just the past week—covering incidents in Arkansas, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.) The following precautions can help dog guardians prevent such tragedies:
- Always keep dogs on a secure leash and in a harness during walks.
- Never let dogs run free near open bodies of water.
- In backyards with unfenced swimming pools, always walk dogs on a leash in other parts of the yard.
PETA also urges guardians to let companion animals live indoors with the rest of the family, as “backyard dogs” and “outdoor cats”—like those featured in the documentary Breaking the Chain—suffer terribly from frostbite and can die of exposure. There were at least 37 cold weather–related companion animal deaths in 2019, and those are just the ones that were reported—most aren’t. This video shows just a few of the dogs PETA’s fieldworkers have found suffering in the cold this winter.