With the recent spate of below-normal temperatures, Langley residents are being urged to keep their animals indoors.
Jayne Nelson, executive director of the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) has a simple rule of thumb.
“If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them,” Nelson told the Langley Advance Times.
“This time of year, we do encourage people to have their dogs indoors.”
Younger pets are especially at risk when it’s cold, Nelson cautioned.
“Baby animals have less ability to keep warm.”
Tips posted to the LAPS website suggest adjusting the frequency and length of walks with pets in the winter by trying to go for shorter excursions more frequently rather than one long hike in the cold and potential exposure to ice-melting salt.
“Remember our pet’s paws are susceptible to chemical burns from prolonged contact,” the blog advises.
“Try to keep them on the grass where possible. When you get home, wipe your pet’s paws with a warm wash cloth to prevent them from licking and ingesting the salt.”
LAPS enforces the animal control bylaws in both the City and the Township of Langley, while animal cruelty cases in Langley are handled by the BC SPCA, which is responsible for enforcing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act) throughout the province.
BC SPCA Animal Protection Officers (APO) are Special Provincial Constables with a large scope of authority.
On Friday, Nov. 29, the SPCA issued a warning about leaving animals outdoors.
It described how RCMP in the South Okanagan/Similkameen area received a complaint about five cats who had been kept in the back of an open truck in a wire crate for about two months.
Officers arrived to discover one of the cats was deceased and the other four cats were living in their own feces and urine.
Two of the cats were too far gone to be saved, leaving one healthy survivor and a very sick cat who will need extensive care to recover.
Eileen Drever, senior officer BC SPCA protection and stakeholder relations, said the animal protection agency strongly recommends that animals be kept indoors during cold weather or that pet guardians ensure they have the proper protection against the elements.
“This time of year we see a sharp increase in the number of calls about domestic and farm animals who are distress in outdoor situations,” Driver commented.
“One of the most common situations we encounter is dogs who are tethered outdoors in sub-zero temperatures. Animals are safest indoors, but if you must keep an animal outside, ensure shelter is off the ground, insulated from the cold and drinking water is not frozen.”
Anyone who suspects an animal is in distress should call 1-855-622-7722.