Note: The dog used in the image for this article is just a generic image to illustrate a dog being chained outdoors. There is no relevance to this specific dog in relation to this article.
Knowing a neighbor or someone who keeps their dogs outdoors permanently, chained or otherwise, is heartbreaking and upsetting to any animal lover. These dogs have to endure and protect themselves against all normal weather conditions. Each season has its own hazards for chained, outdoor pets.
But with an impending hurricane approaching the East Coast, aside from neglect and loneliness, these dogs face something else.
Danger from unyielding winds and rain. Danger from flooding. Danger from drowning.
Even if these dogs are provided outdoor shelter, it may not be stable enough to withstand hurricane-force winds and driving rain. And many dogs will become afraid of the weather conditions and out of fear, might try harder than normal to escape, putting their lives in even more danger.
Flying debris and objects not secured down properly may injure or even kill a dog, depending on their force.
In winter weather, pets left outdoors have trouble staying warm and dry, and can freeze to death without proper protection during dipping temperatures.
This is a case where minding your own business doesn’t apply.
Try nicely approaching these owners and remain calm and civil while explaining the dangers of leaving dogs outside during this hurricane. Encourage them to bring the dog in for its safety. This is the most important time for the dog to be indoors. Maybe after the storm and things settle down, you can talk to him about not leaving the dog out all the time.
But for now, settle for this dog’s immediate protection.
If the owner refuses, offer to provide shelter for this dog inside your own home, if that’s possible. You can also request that he surrender his dog to a shelter if he can’t or won’t bring the dog into the house.
But do something. These dogs deserve better than to be left outdoors all the time, but especially during the weather conditions that are expected with Hurricane Sandy. Animals’ safety and lives will be protected if only more people stepped up on their behalf.
Don’t delay. These animals need you to speak up for them.
Tomorrow may be too late.
Click here to read some additional tips from ASPCA to prepare all pets during hurricane season. Such as a pet rescue alert sticker for your home, choosing a safe haven, making sure your pet is wearing a collar and IDs with updated information, and now is the time to microchip, if you haven’t done so already. Stay indoors and stock up on food for both you and your pets. You can also click here to read this article with lots of helpful tips for preparing yourselves and your pets for this weather.
In Philadelphia – follow Philadelphia County Animal Response Team (PCART) Facebook page devoted to pet-related information during the hurricane. Also Red Paw Emergency Relief Team which provides emergency shelter, transportation, and vet care for displaced animals after home disasters.
Interested in becoming a volunteer for Pennsylvania State Response Team (PSART)? Click here to apply.
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