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Animal Cruelty During the Big Freeze

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Yesterday, NINE PUPPIES were rescued from icy drowning conditions after a group of teens at a canal (who had the defenseless pups in a bag!) in Dublin tried to drown the pups.

Gillian Duffy, Ambulance Driver DSPCA

9 puppies (a litter of 6 males and 3 females)
The pups are a cross breed - according to Gillian - part shih tzu

What happened to these pups?

These nine gorgeous puppies were rescued yesterday morning from a group of teens at a canal in Dublin. The teenagers were about to drown the bag of puppies in the icy canal until they were bravely interrupted by a passerby who saved the tiny pups.

Who is caring for the pups now?

This litter of 6 males and 3 females are currently being cared for by the Dublin SPCA. We are also trying to find a home for them.

How are the pups?

The pups are in good condition, some of them have mange (a bit of a skin condition) but they are all fine.

How old are the pups?

The pups are about 4 or 5 weeks old.

Do someone want to get rid of these pups?

We think that someone had these pups and wanted to get rid of them because maybe they didn't have the time, or maybe they just did not want to take care of them anymore...

Has there been an increase in calls relating to animal cruelty because of the big freeze?

Yes, these pups are the second big litter that we have gotten in the past number of days. We are also getting calls about dogs being left outside of homes in the cold without adequate food and water. A lot of the time people are leaving water out but it (the water) is freezing and people are also not leaving enough food out.

There are also a lot of horses that have been suffering during this freeze?

Yes, we would estimate that there are thousands of horses that have been left stranded as a result of the weather.

Why is this?

Even without the extreme bad weather, the grass this time of gear is not great for horses and they need hay. and with the snow, many horses are not getting any food or water.last week, the DSPCA visited a field in Dublin and we had to remove six horses from a field that died as a result of starvation. The worst thing about it is that the horses will suffer over a period of days as starvation happens this way.

What else have you seen as a result of the cold spell?

People have been calling us about swans and other animals getting stuck in the ice.. we have also got reports about foxes and other wild animals being in trouble because of the cold spell.

What are you calling on the general public to do?

We are calling on the general public to play their part in keeping animals safe during this Big Freeze, and have issued a series of do's and don'ts for people to follow. These are available on our website
Our resources have been stretched to the limit and all support is greatly appreciated.


. Horses and Ponies
Horses must have a constant supply of fresh water, so it is important to ensure that no ice has formed at the top of their drinking water. They will need extra food as winter grazing provides very little nourishment and as fields are covered in snow, there is nothing for the horse to eat. Horses need to have access to dry shelter and should have blankets in this weather.

If you see a horse in a field, please contact the owner of the horse. If you can't do that, contact the owner of the field.

If you can, please feed the horse and make sure it has fresh water, in an emergency, call us for help. or 01-4935502

. Outdoor Pets
Pets need extra special care during this cold snap. Keep a close eye on outdoor pets - guinea pigs, rabbits. Place extra bedding in their homes. Better still, move them to a shed or garage for extra shelter or if you have a downstairs loo or a utility or cloak room that can be used temporarily to keep them sheltered.

. Dogs
Try and maintain as regular a routine as possible with your dog but you may not feel like walking during these dark, dangerous winter nights. If you do walk your dog, always wear plenty of warm layers and reflective clothing, (a high Vis jacket), and fit your dog with a reflective collar.

. Feeding the birds / garden wildlife
Don't forget to look after any wildlife in your garden. During the winter, and certainly in sub zero temperatures, birds will have difficulty finding food supplies such as insects, seeds, berries etc., An extra bit of care from you will keep them going and hopefully see them through this difficult time.

. Frozen Ponds
If you have a pond in your garden, please check it each day for ice. Toxic gasses can build up in the water when it's frozen. This may kill fish or frogs hibernating at the bottom of it.

If the pond freezes over, place a saucepan of hot water on the surface to gently melt a hole in the ice. Never tip boiling water straight onto the pond or break the ice with force. This can harm or kill any fish living there.

Dog owners must keep pets well away from ponds and lakes that have frozen over. Thin ice may break under your dog's weight. Watch for dogs' paws becoming impacted with snow - this can cause discomfort.

Here's some useful treats you may already have in your kitchen cupboards.

. Use upside down bin lids as water dishes. Check them daily in case they freeze over.
. Peanuts, (monkey nuts) in shells threaded together on a string - make sure they are unsalted.
. Wild bird seed which is widely available in shops and garden centres.
. Grated cheese. Robins love this.
. Pastry, stale cake or biscuits and breadcrumbs. (Moisten bread if it's very dry). Melted fat can also be poured onto bread to make a 'bird cake.'
. Cooked rice or pasta.
. Many birds prefer to eat off the ground - blackbirds, thrushes and certain other birds are not used to eating from a table - so remember to place some feed on the ground.*
. Fat from bacon rinds. Robins love this.
. Dried fruit but soak in water first.
. Bruised fruit such as pears and apples.

* (Be aware that some fruit such as grapes, sultanas, raisins and artificial sweeteners can be toxic to dogs and other domestic animals, also to some wild animals, so place on a raised table and do not scatter these on the ground).

Any additional information

8th January 2010: Dublin SPCA have today issued an appeal to the public to keep all animals safe during the current arctic conditions. Ireland's oldest animal welfare organisation have been receiving calls about horses, dogs and wildlife caught in dangerous situations; many are becoming trapped in the snow, finding themselves unable to reach food or water.
The Dublin SPCA is Ireland's oldest animal welfare organisation and celebrates its 170th anniversary this year.