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

For Immediate Release:
April 7, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Edmonton, Alberta – Reports that dogs—and often their guardians—have fallen through ice on rivers, lakes, and ponds are on the rise this year. Following news reports that a man who was trying to help a dog trapped on an icy river in Edmonton fell in and is presumed dead, PETA is sharing icy water safety tips.

While some dogs have been rescued—like the dog in this case, who was saved by fire crews—others have died, and so have people who tried to rescue them. (Please see these recent stories—covering incidents in Edmonton, LaSalle, and Toronto.) 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 have been at least 16 cold weather–related companion animal deaths so far in 2021, 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 year.

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