Pledge to Keep Your Pets Safe

Final signature count: 5,402

Sponsor: Humane Society of the United States

Biting cold is an extraordinary threat to all animals.

With weather systems delivering punishingly low temperatures – along with ice, snow, and wind – deaths from the cold cycle are mounting, including animal victims. Heartbreaking images on social media, of dogs left outside and frozen, are almost too much to bear.

Our instinct, upon seeing these images, is to avert our eyes because it’s so painful. But we should not be bystanders as the drama unfolds in backyards and fields and other settings in our communities. We can bring relief to these animals.

If someone you raise these concerns with responds poorly or their animals continue to be in danger, contact your local animal control agency.

Pledge to do your part to protect animals during the winter!

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The Petition:

I pledge to:

  • Keep pets sheltered: Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.
  • Bundle up, wipe down: No matter what the temperature is, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life. Exposed skin on noses, ears, and paw pads is at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. For this reason, short and medium-haired dogs often feel more comfortable wearing a fleece jacket or sweater — even during short walks.
  • Remove common poisons: Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up any antifreeze spills immediately and keep it, like all household chemicals, out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife, and family. Be alert of any open garages that may entice your outdoor cat and may contain deadly poisons and other hazards. It is better to keep your cat inside during cold weather.
  • Protect outdoor animals: If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. Consider making them a simple shelter with plastic bins insulated with foam and lined with straw.
  • Protect horses: Be sure your horses have access to a barn or a three-sided run-in so they can escape the wind and cold. While not all horses will need to be blanketed, blankets will help horses keep warm and dry, especially if there is any rain or snow. If you’ve body-clipped your horses, keep them blanketed throughout the winter. Check the blankets frequently to make sure they are fitted appropriately and have not slipped or moved out of place where other dangers may occur.
  • Speak out:If you encounter a pet left in the cold, politely let the owner know you’re concerned. Some people genuinely don’t know the risk that cold weather poses to their pets or livestock, and will be quick to correct any problems you address.
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