Protect animals during cold weather

EDITOR:

Animals left outside can suffer potentially deadly frostbite and hypothermia, as well as dehydration when water sources freeze. Short-haired breeds, young or elderly animals, and small animals are especially at risk. Dogs are often tied up outside 24 hours a day, sometimes with nothing more than a plastic carrier or an overturned barrel for shelter. PETA fieldworkers recently rescued a small Chihuahua-pug mix who had been tied up at an abandoned house in subfreezing temperatures with no shelter whatsoever.

Outdoor cats are extremely vulnerable. Every winter, there are horror stories about cats losing ears, tails, and feet to frostbite, cats being found frozen to the ground, and cats slashed to ribbons when they crawl into car engines seeking warmth. The average lifespan of a stray or feral cat is less than 3 years, compared to 12-15 years for a cat who lives indoors–meaning that it is essentially a death sentence to trap, neuter, and abandon cats, as many animal shelters are doing in a misguided attempt to boost “saved” rates.

Cats and dogs are not immune to the cold any more than humans are. If you see an animal being denied adequate food, water, or shelter, please alert authorities right away.

Your intervention could save a life.

Teresa Chagrin

Animal Care Control Issues Manager

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)