Calgary

Humane Society seizes animals in freezing weather

Extreme cold weather has kept animal welfare officials busy responding to about two dozen emergency calls in Calgary in the past 72 hours — five dogs have been seized, but that number is expected to rise.

Emergency calls inundate Calgary Humane Society over past 72 hours as 5 dogs seized, more expected

One of the dogs seized by the Calgary Humane Society as an extreme cold weather snaps hits Calgary. Officials say they are baffled at the number of dogs left outside improperly. (Calgary Humane Society)

Extreme cold weather has kept animal welfare officials busy responding to about two dozen emergency calls in Calgary in the past 72 hours — five dogs have been seized, but that number is expected to rise.

"We don't usually have to see as many animals in this type of weather because common sense prevails, but we have had to seize quite a few dogs in the past couple of days," said Brad Nichols, senior manager of animal cruelty investigations at the Calgary Humane Society.

"We have a couple of active files that we are considering prosecution on."

It may take several weeks to lay charges.

The maximum sentence under the Animal Protection Act is a $20,000 fine and a lifetime prohibition from owning an animal. 

Nichols said police have also received calls and he expects officials will end up seizing more animals in the freezing days ahead.

The Humane Society has also issued several warnings to pet owners for leaving animals outside without enough shelter, food and water.

Cats have also been found hiding in dangerous areas like car wells and mufflers.

"Worst case scenario for the animal is death," said Nichols.

During cold weather snaps, Nichols said pets need to be brought indoors with the exception of short waste breaks.

Breeds considered more suitable to cold conditions also need to be watched carefully, given heated water bowls and provided with proper housing against the wind and cold.

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