RSPCA is imploring Victorians to provide their animals with sufficient shelter during the cold of winter. The reminder comes following a prosecution finalised recently where a dog was left tied to a car tyre with no shelter available to her.
The case was reported to RSPCA after the female Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Karma, was heard screaming and yelping. RSPCA Inspectors issued the owner with a notice to comply to provide water and shelter. At a subsequent visit, a kennel had been provided for Karma, but she was still tied up and was unable to reach it. The area around her was also heavily built up with faeces.
While RSPCA worked to rehabilitate Karma, she was found to be fear aggressive and her behaviour unpredictable. Sadly, the decision was made to humanely euthanise her. Last month, Karma’s owner was convicted and banned from owning any animal for a period of two years.
RSPCA Inspectorate Team Leader Karen Collier said it’s important pet owners consider any additional requirements needed by their pets during winter, including adequate shelter away from the wind and rain.
“The safest way to manage the risks of cold weather is to keep pets indoors where possible. Cats and dogs living outdoors or who spend time outside during the day must have a kennel or enclosure that is warm, waterproof and windproof, and preferably elevated from the ground. Providing warm bedding such as blankets will also help keep them snug,” Inspector Collier explained.
“Indoor animals will also require a warm area to sleep, so set them up with a bed and provide extra blankets to give your pet the option to snuggle in for some extra warmth if they’re feeling chilly.”
Inspector Collier said that while needs will vary between animals and their circumstances, all animals require some type of shelter and must be able to protect themselves from the winter elements.
“Three sided shelters can assist horses, goats and livestock to escape the cold, rain and wind, while chickens need extra bedding to keep them warm.”