What to Do If You See a Dog Left Out in the Cold


We don’t think pets should live outdoors any time of the year, but it can be especially heartbreaking and dangerous in the winter. Here’s what you can do to help.

In winter, when the snow falls, it’s cold outside: it’s a depressing vision. If you look out the window to watch those neigne flakes that fall on a dog left in the cold. Then what can we do when we see someone else pet shivering against the winter? Much, in fact.


1. Build a rapport with the dog’s owner

Darlene Grady-Lunn is the founder of Marley’s Hope Dog Rescue in Halifax said: “Nobody’s going to listen to you if you go in wagging your finger,”.

She says many people who keep their dogs outside do so because that’s how their family has always done it.


2. Leave a note

Constable B. Gray of the Edmonton Humane Society agrees that when blows on a door would be uncomfortable or dangerous then conversations.

Constable B. Gray of the Edmonton Humane Society agrees that when blows on a door would be uncomfortable or dangerous then conversations
Cold weather advice can be provided using some written information, such as the PDF version of the Edmonton Humane Society Winter Safety Guidelines.

“Even just leaving this pamphlet in a mailbox does lead to changes because it lets that owner know that somebody is watching,” Officer Grey explains.


3. Call your local animal control department

It is judicious to call Animal Control, obviously a brochure is not enough,. In the event that a dog is in immediate danger.

You have to communicate to the local authorities the address, but also provide them with information whether or not it looks like everyone is at home, and what the dog has access in terms of accommodation, food and water.

Officer Grey says it’s important to have as much information as possible before calling, as authorities are often overwhelmed with calls about cold dogs during extreme weather and must prioritize cases based on immediate need.

“A lot of individuals think if a dog is barking that they’re automatically in distress, but dogs vocalize for so many different reasons.”


4. Build a shelter for the dog

It should be noted that the plywood boxes and plastic domes are unfortunately inefficient despite being inexpensive. Fortunately, if you can swing a hammer, you can help keep a dog warm.


5. Be persistent

Passing a cold dog or leaving it in the cold every day is hard to believe especially in cases where the people responsible for the dog are not technically breaking the law. Grady-Lunn from Marley’s Hope gives advice to anyone who cares about a dog in their community:

“You might be the only person who sees that dog, or who can be a voice for that dog, so just don’t give up.”



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