Media Centre

PETA Offers Urgent Information for Safeguarding Companion Aniamls During Freezing Weather

For Immediate Release:
8 December 2010

Contact:
Sandra Smiley 020 7357 9229, ext 229; SandraS@peta.org.uk

London - Every year, PETA receives complaints about companion animals left outside in the cold. Although they are equipped with fur coats, rabbits, cats, dogs and other animals can still suffer from frostbite and exposure.

During this recent cold snap alone, the RSPCA has responded to 5,476 incidents of animals in trouble. With your area facing low temperatures, will you please consider sharing the following information with your audience in order to help protect animals?

- Keep animals inside, particularly rabbits, puppies, kittens, elderly animals, small animals and dogs with short hair. Short-haired animals will also benefit from a warm jumper or coat on walks.
- Don't allow your cat or dog to roam freely outdoors. During winter, cats sometimes climb under the bonnets of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started. (To help prevent this, bang loudly on the bonnet of your car before starting the engine.) Animals can also become disoriented when there is snow or ice on the ground. More animals are lost during the winter than during any other season.
- You should increase animals' food rations during winter because they are burning more calories to keep warm. Also, make sure that animals are free of internal parasites, which can rob them of vital nutrients.
- 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 the RSPCA for assistance in trapping them and getting them indoors.
- If there is snow on the ground, be sure to wipe off your dogs' or cats' legs, feet and stomachs after they come inside. Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them.
   
For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.