Animal rescuers urge owners to check on pets

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PET owners are being urged to avoid frozen water – after a spate of doggie deaths last year.

The Scottish SPCA also urged them to check on animals kept in outdoor homes such as hutches and even consider taking them indoors.

Scottish SPCA Deputy Chief Superintendent Tom Gatherer said, “Freezing temperatures and deep snow can be very dangerous for animals, including domestic pets, equines, farm animals and wildlife.

“In particular, we strongly advise owners not to walk their dogs near frozen water.

“Last winter there were several instances in which dogs fell through ice, which could have had tragic consequences both for the dogs and their owners.

“Many outdoor cats tend to spend long periods outside.

“However, with temperatures so low, owners should ensure their cats can either come inside or at least have access to somewhere with warmth and shelter.

“Pets and animals kept outside should also have adequate shelter, any extra food and bedding they need and access to unfrozen drinking water.

“At this time of year many owners of pets kept in outdoor hutches such as rabbits also move the hutches somewhere safe inside.”

He added: “The level of snowfall and treacherous conditions can make it hard for farmers to monitor their animals but, again, it is vital that they have access to unfrozen drinking water and food.

“It is also kind to feed wild birds at this time of year as their natural food sources will be scarce.”

On Saturday a 49 year old man died with his pet after jumping into the freezing River Lune at Halton in Lancashire in a bid to save his Springer Spaniel dog which had got into difficulty.

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