July 17, 2018

Winnipeg
9° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Animals dying in cold 'absolutely every day'

<p>Foster mom Stephanie Moskalyk brings puppies Fiji, left, and Tahiti to see their injured mom Isla at Pembina Veterinary Hospital Tuesday. Isla was rescued on a northern reserve where she was found under a car hood sheltering from the cold with her 2.5 weeks old babies. Sadly, her elbow was severely damaged so she had to have her leg amputated this past weekend.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Foster mom Stephanie Moskalyk brings puppies Fiji, left, and Tahiti to see their injured mom Isla at Pembina Veterinary Hospital Tuesday. Isla was rescued on a northern reserve where she was found under a car hood sheltering from the cold with her 2.5 weeks old babies. Sadly, her elbow was severely damaged so she had to have her leg amputated this past weekend.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/1/2018 (195 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As the mercury drops, Manitoba's animal rescue services are fielding a rising number of calls about cats and dogs left out in the cold. According to one dog rescue group, animals in remote northern communities are freezing to death "absolutely every day."

Lindsay Gillanders, a co-ordinator with Manitoba Underdogs Rescue, said because the group is lacking in foster families for dogs, it is unable to save as many pups as it would like.

"Absolutely every day there’s dogs freezing to death in northern Manitoba," she said by phone Tuesday.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/1/2018 (195 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As the mercury drops, Manitoba's animal rescue services are fielding a rising number of calls about cats and dogs left out in the cold. According to one dog rescue group, animals in remote northern communities are freezing to death "absolutely every day."

Lindsay Gillanders, a co-ordinator with Manitoba Underdogs Rescue, said because the group is lacking in foster families for dogs, it is unable to save as many pups as it would like.

"Absolutely every day there’s dogs freezing to death in northern Manitoba," she said by phone Tuesday.

What to do

Click to Expand

If you spot an instance of animal cruelty or neglect within the city, call the Winnipeg Humane Society’s cruelty line: 204-982-2028. 

If you’re outside Winnipeg, contact the province’s animal care line: 204-945-8000.

"If we don’t have the foster homes, unfortunately, we can’t bring the dogs in. It’s something that we struggle with every winter because people are going on vacation, as well as having Christmas. It’s not the most convenient time to bring a dog into the home, but we really do rely on people to do that so that we can save lives."

Gillanders' own dog, a pug-mix named Lucy, was rescued from the freezing cold in January 2014. Another recent rescue, Isla, was found huddled under a car hood in November, trying to keep toasty with two-and-a-half-week-old puppies. (The pups are now named after warmer climes, Tahiti and Fiji.)

Isla, a one-year-old shepherd/husky mix, underwent surgery at the Pembina Veterinary Hospital in Winnipeg over the weekend. She had to have her leg amputated after suffering serious elbow damage, likely caused by getting hit by a vehicle, the rescue group said.

Calls about animal cruelty-related crimes went up over the last two months, according to the Winnipeg Humane Society, though figures weren't immediately available. The WHS said it received 102 weather-related calls in November and December 2017 from people concerned about seeing animals left in the cold.

Heather Neil, an animal protection officer and the humane society's manager of investigations and emergency response, said the organization tends to receive more calls during extreme cold snaps.

"We usually get an increase in calls for animals without shelter or shelter that’s not up to snuff, that won’t protect them in the winter. We do get an increase that follows the temperatures," she said.

In Winnipeg, Neil said she hasn't witnessed any dogs or cats freezing to death, although instances of frostbite and uninsulated shelters are more common.

"Over the last five or 10 years, the public is placing a greater value on our companion animals. They tend to have a greater meaning in our lives, in our homes, as part of our families," Neil said. "So I think that makes people more aware. The reporting systems have become easier to contact and I think social media has a large play in this."

Margaret Scott, who lives in Ste. Anne, about 45 minutes southeast of Winnipeg, recently posted on Facebook about her husband's experience with a neglected animal. She had dozens of neighbours chime in with similar stories.

On Friday, her husband, who works at a dairy farm, saw a woman stop a car and throw a cat out its door. When he confronted her, she said she didn't want the cat anymore and had decided to take it to a farm.

"We were facing -32 C that night. There was no thought of the animal she was just discarding," Scott said in an interview Tuesday. The woman, however, did take the cat back after some peer pressure from her husband, Scott added.

Having animals "dumped" on their driveways is a common occurrence in rural Manitoba, she said, adding she wants to see more shelter spaces open for animals — as the Humane Society and other rescues are perpetually full — not to mention more responsible pet ownership.

For Aileen White, deputy chief executive officer of the Winnipeg Humane Society, finding animals in distress "is a common thing, sadly, in all sections of our province, especially when we get such a horrible cold time."

"Sadly, what I’ve long learned in this weather – whether it’s really hot weather or really cold – is that common sense is not common," she said.

jessica.botelho@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @_jessbu

Jessica Botelho-Urbanski
Legislature reporter

Jessica Botelho-Urbanski covers the Manitoba Legislature for the Winnipeg Free Press.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.