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Care for cold pets SPCA warns

January 5th, 2004, 02:37 PM
Care for cold pets SPCA warns

SASKATOON - Environment Canada is warning that wind-chill temperatures will continue to dip to around the minus 40C mark for the until at least Wednesday. So animal protection advocates say pet owners need to take care of their four legged companions.

A fur coat doesn't mean your pets are safe from the world famous Saskatchewan January deep freeze.

Saskatoon SPCA spokesperson Jodie Breckner says people need to remember to keep their pets indoors and beware of leaving them outside too long.

"They say it only takes three seconds for your skin to freeze," she says. "You're not standing on that pavement in the snow in your bare feet. So it could take anywhere from three to 10 seconds for your dogs foot to freeze. Lots of cats will come in and you can tell there a bit frost-bitten and three to four weeks later, their tails will fall off and their ears will actually fall off."

Breckner says dogs should only be left outside in a heated kennel or garage and owners should probably get booties for their pooch's paws before going for a walk.

She says a Saskatoon bylaw will fine cat owners who let kitty outdoors without making sure they can get back in quickly.

Another thing motorists should be aware of is that cats left outside might seek the warmth of a car engine, so if there are a lot of cats in your neighbourhood, you might want to bang on the hood of your car before starting it.