For Immediate Release:
March 23, 2021
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Bigfork, Mont. – Reports that dogs—and often their guardians—have fallen through ice on lakes and ponds are on the rise this year. Following news reports that a dog had to be rescued from an icy lake in Bigfork, PETA is sharing tips for keeping animals safe.
While some dogs have been rescued, others have died, and so have some guardians who tried to rescue them. (Please see these recent stories—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 past winter.