To The Reader's Forum:
During the "polar vortex" that sent temperatures tumbling throughout the country earlier this month, countless animals suffered and died because they were left outdoors. A pit bull who was chained to a tree in Texas froze to death, and in New York, a stray cat appeared to have frozen mid-stride.
With another round of frigid temperatures forecasted, it's crucial to keep our animal companions indoors, where they will be warm and safe, and to look out for neighbors' animals and strays. Left outdoors, animals can suffer from frostbite, hypothermia, and dehydration when water sources freeze. At minimum, animals who are forced to live outdoors need increased food rations and proper shelter - a wooden doghouse elevated off the ground, stuffed with straw, and covered with a flap. If stray or feral animals visit your property, do everything you can to get them safe indoors (shelters will often loan out humane box traps).
Animals are no better equipped to survive bone-chilling temperatures than we are. If you see an animal deprived of adequate shelter, food, water, or other necessities, please notify authorities immediately. For more tips on protecting animals in cold weather, visit www.PETA.org.
The PETA Foundation