Every year, we receive thousands of complaints about people who leave dogs outside in the cold. And this year has been no different.
PETA contacted law-enforcement officials after we heard about two Scottish terriers in Indiana who had been left outside with just a single plastic doghouse—which was inaccessible because it was submerged in the snow! A compassionate police marshal immediately intervened, and within 24 hours, the dogs were safely in custody and cruelty charges had been filed against the owner.
This is basic—if you can’t stand the cold, your dog and cat can’t, either! Although they are equipped with fur coats, animals can still suffer from frostbite and exposure, and they can become dehydrated when water sources freeze. Don’t be an as#hole—let your animals inside!
During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started.
Wipe off your dogs’ or cats’ legs, feet, and stomachs after they come in from the snow. Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them.
Increase animals’ food ratios. Animals burn more calories during the winter in an effort to stay warm.
Take unidentified animals indoors until you can find their guardians or take them to an animal shelter. If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide food and water and call your local humane society for assistance in trapping them and getting them indoors.
Offer food rations to wildlife who are caught in storms or white-outs by spreading birdseed on the ground. Provide access to liquid water by filling a heavy water bowl and breaking the surface ice twice a day. Remember to remove the food once the weather improves to encourage the animals to move on to warmer areas.