Urgent: PETA’s Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe Around Frozen Lakes and Ponds

For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – PETA is seeing a dramatic increase in the reports of dogs falling into frozen lakes and ponds—and 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.)

PETA is sharing tips for preventing such tragedies. These precautions can help dog guardians keep their animals safe as the cold weather continues:

  • 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.

PETA has released a cold-weather public service announcement. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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