Because forecasters are predicting freezing temperatures throughout the North-East, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is offering urgent advice for ensuring the safety of animal companions.
Please alert your audience to the following information, which could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds and other companion animals during the inclement weather:
• Keep animals indoors. 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.
• 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 indoors until you can find their guardians or get them to an animal shelter. If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide them with food and water and call animal-protection authorities 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 indoors. Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them.
• Antifreeze, which can be deadly, attracts animals because of its sweet taste. Avoid spills, be sure always to tighten the cap securely after use and store the antifreeze in a place where animals can’t get to it.
For more information, go to www.PETA.org.uk