For Immediate Release:
October 29, 2018
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – As Winter Hazard Awareness Week (November 5–9) approaches, PETA has released top tips for keeping animals safe, as freezing temperatures can put them at risk of suffering from deadly frostbite and exposure, becoming dehydrated when water sources ice over, and dying.
Last winter, there were at least 40 cold weather–related companion animal deaths—and these were just the ones that were reported. Most are not.
These are some of the dog deaths across the U.S. that were reported last winter:
- While responding to a complaint in Butler County, Ohio, the local dog warden found a German shepherd dead inside his doghouse. Although there were four bales of straw on the owners’ front porch, they hadn’t put any straw bedding in the doghouse.
- In Hartford, Connecticut, officers responding to a complaint from a concerned neighbor found a chained pit bull mix who had died of hypothermia. He was also found inside his doghouse.
- In Lynchburg, Virginia, an animal control officer performing a welfare check found a chained dog who had frozen to death inside his doghouse.
Keep animals indoors. Winter weather spells extra hardship for “backyard dogs,” who often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements and are unable to help, note their location and alert authorities immediately. (For information regarding what constitutes adequate shelter, click here.)
In cold weather, you can provide birds and other animals with access to water by filling a heavy nonmetal water bowl (tongues can freeze to metal) and breaking the surface ice twice a day. When weather improves, be sure to remove any food offerings in order to encourage animals to move on to warmer areas.
Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted.
Cities that have been alerted to PETA’s winter weather preparedness tips include Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Mankato, MN.