The Winnipeg Humane Society is applauding an American viral video that warns pet owners of the dangers tobacco smoke poses to their furry friends.
"CATmageddon" was produced by U.S. anti-smoking group Truth Initiative and has more than 2.4 million views. Dr. Erika Anseeuw, director of animal health at the Winnipeg Humane Society, supports its message.
"[Smoking] is as much or possibly even more of a concern [for pets] as it is with people," said Dr. Anseeuw.
"Pets don't have the choice really to move away from a smoker."
Birds and other pets can get respiratory diseases and both cats and dogs can develop cancers as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke, said Dr. Anseeuw.
Cats put themselves at extra risk because of their grooming habits, she said.
"They groom their fur so not only are they inhaling second-hand smoke, they're ingesting the carcinogens that are impregnated in their fur coat." said Dr. Anseeuw.
"You can really smell the smoke on some of these animals," she added.
"Their fur is really impregnated just the same as a piece of furniture would be. I had a cat once with asthma and I had to really talk to the owner about what the smoking was doing to that cat," she said.
Dr. Anseeuw's advice to pet-owners is to not smoke around their animals.