It’s cold, protect your animals

With overnight lows expected to dip well below freezing in the coming week, it’s urgent for everyone to take their dogs, cats, and other animal companions indoors. Leaving dogs chained up unattended is illegal in Halifax County, and leaving animals chained or penned outdoors in these frigid temperatures can quickly turn deadly.

Dogs are not equipped to survive bone-chilling temperatures. Left outdoors, animals can suffer from frostbite, hypothermia and dehydration when water sources freeze. There have been at least 28 reported cold weather-related companion animal deaths since 2020 — but most go unreported.

At minimum, animals who are forced to live outdoors in winter 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).

If you see a dog left chained outdoors — or any animal deprived of adequate shelter, food, water or other necessities — please notify authorities immediately.

For more tips on protecting animals in cold weather, visit


Lindsay Pollard-Post

The PETA Foundation

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