With temperatures dropping, remembering to keep all our family members, two legged and four legged, safe and warm during the winter season is crucial. Meet Dante, a loveable German shepherd-cross surrendered by his owner after a cruelty investigation was conducted by the BC SPCA.
Severely underweight when first visited by a BC SPCA special provincial constable, Dante had been living on a small balcony, measuring approximately 10 feet by three feet, without regular access to food, water or shelter. The guardian explained that Dante was living on the balcony because he was sick and having accidents in the house.
When provided with the option to seek veterinary care and proper training, Dante’s guardian decided to surrender him to the
BC SPCA Burnaby Branch to find a home that could provide adequate training and care. Despite living in such adverse conditions, Dante has a bright future; now in the care of a foster family, he is putting on weight and becoming healthier.
Dante is an unfortunate example of a dog left outside by an owner that lacked the knowledge and capacity to provide him with the five freedoms. While all dogs need ample exercise and time outdoors, they also need adequate veterinary care, training, warm shelter, food and water.
Dogs left outside run the risk of developing hypothermia, contracting diseases and becoming injured. Dogs might have fur to help keep them warm, but most breeds are not suited to being outside in cold temperatures without continuous movement.
If you SEE a dog being left outside…
Consider having a compassionate conversation with your neighbour. There are great resources available to help make the transition from the outdoors to the indoors much easier.
If you think the animal is in acute distress or previous conversations have done nothing to improve the welfare of the animal, call our toll-free Animal Cruelty Reporting Hotline at 1-855-622-7722 to report your concerns.
If you HAVE a dog that is being kept outside…
If your dog is exhibiting unwanted behaviour, like having accidents in the house, your first stop should be to your veterinarian, not the backyard. Your dog’s behaviour could be the cause of an untreated medical condition that will not be solved by keeping him outside.
Putting a sick dog outdoors, especially in the winter, is dangerous for the dog and puts his life in jeopardy. Visit spca.bc.ca/outdoordogs for more resources to help you make the transition to keeping your dog indoors, warm, healthy and safe.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.