Group Warns Against Leaving Animals Outside in Freezing Temperatures

Every year, PETA receives complaints about people who leave dogs outside in the cold. Although they are equipped with fur coats, dogs and other animals can still suffer from frostbite and exposure, and they can become dehydrated when water sources freeze. Cold weather spells extra hardship for "backyard" dogs, who often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care.

With your area facing snow and continued low temperatures, will you please consider sharing the following information with your audience in order to help protect animal companions?

Keep animals inside. This is especially important to remember when it comes to puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair, including pointers, beagles, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans. Short-haired animals will also benefit from a warm sweater or coat on walks.

Don't allow your cat or dog to roam freely outdoors. 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. You should increase animals' food rations during the winter because they are burning more calories to keep warm.

Keep an eye out for strays. Take unidentified animals inside until you can find their guardians or get 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.

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 while cleaning themselves.

When you see dogs left outdoors, provide them with proper shelter. Details on how to provide housing can be found at HelpingAnimals.com.

PETA's cold-weather public service announcement featuring the song "I Wanna Be Free," donated by country music legend Loretta Lynn, is available upon request.

For more information, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.

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