SPCA reminds public not to leave pets outside in the cold

The BC SPCA is warning pet guardians not to keep their animals outdoors following a tragic case of animal cruelty.

The RCMP received a complaint about five cats who had been kept in the back of an open truck in a wire crate for about two months. When the officers attended the scene one of the cats was deceased and the other four cats were living in their own feces and urine. SPCA animal protection officers were called in and the cats were taken to the South Okanagan/Similkameen SPCA Branch. Sadly, two of the cats were too far gone to be saved, leaving one healthy survivor, Kasey and a very sick cat, Raffi, who will need extensive care to recover.

Raffi had matted fur when he first arrived in SPCA care and will need entropion surgery on his lower eyelids. He will need oral surgery to fix his teeth and repair a lesion on his lower canine tooth. Raffi also received treatment for skin irritation caused by urine scald.

“Raffi is very affectionate and has a loud purr and loves to play. He will be so happy to be able to open his eyes and see again after his surgery,” says South Okanagan/Similkameen Branch manager Carolyn Hawkins.

He will need four weeks to recover before he will be available for adoption. His total cost of care is expected to reach $1,580.

The SPCA strongly recommends that animals be kept indoors during cold weather or that pet guardians ensure they have the proper protection against the elements.

“This time of year we see a sharp increase in the number of calls about domestic and farm animals who are distress in outdoor situations,” says Eileen Drever, senior officer BC SPCA protection and stakeholder relations. “One of the most common situations we encounter is dogs who are tethered outdoors in sub-zero temperatures. Animals are safest indoors, but if you must keep an animal outside, ensure shelter is off the ground, insulated from the cold and drinking water is not frozen.”

Please check the BC SPCA website (spca.bc.ca) for more information about cold weather safety, and if you suspect an animal in distress, please call 1-855-622-7722.

The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public donations. their mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.

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