Humane Society of Canada

March 21, 2005 16:14 ET

Protect Animals from Seasonal Hazards Urges The HSC

Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor VANCOUVER, BC--(CCNMatthews - March 21, 2005) - The arrival of spring brings a number of situations that are dangerous for animal companions. The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking people with pets to learn about the spring hazards facing animal companions and to take the necessary precautions to ensure that their four-legged friends aren't placed in a dangerous situation.

"One of the biggest dangers facing pets and their humans at the end of winter involves flooding and increased water levels in rivers, lakes, streams and other water bodies from melting snow and ice," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. "Even creeks and rivers that are shallow and slow moving for much of the year can become raging torrents of water when winter snow and ice melts," warns Hickey. "Some dogs will jump into these dangerous waterways while other animals can fall or be swept into them."

HSC Executive Director Michael O'Sullivan wants people to know that lakes, ponds and similar water bodies covered with ice are also very dangerous.

"Every year dogs and other animals fall through ice on lakes, ponds and rivers where many of them die," states O'Sullivan. "Pets can also become stranded on the ice. Animal companions can be kept safe from these dangerous situations by being kept away from waterways, particularly during the end of winter and early spring, and not allowing them to run at large."

People with pets also need to keep them from harming, or being harmed by, wild animals.

"Wild animals are particularly vulnerable in the spring when they are having their young and looking for shelter and food," says O'Sullivan. "Pets must be prevented from harming these animals and they also need to be protected from wild animals who can inflict serious injuries on animal companions."

Although people should be outside with their pets at all times, many animals do stray or become lost. When this happens it is important to have effective identification so that they can be quickly returned to their families. To effectively deal with this, The Humane Society of Canada has launched its Pet Recovery Team which includes providing each animal companion with a personalized identification tag. The tag contains the animal's name, his or her human guardians' phone number and a serial number along with the phone numbers of The Humane Society of Canada - including their toll-free number. Pets can be enrolled in this free program by registering online at or calling 1-800-641-KIND (5463).

When your animal is hurt, time is critical. In order to give people a way of providing their animals with immediate help to try and relieve their pain and injury, The Humane Society of Canada has created this special Animal First Aid Kit. This kit and first aid manual have been reviewed by a group of veterinarians and animal care experts with a broad range of experience in Canada, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East. Their collective expertise has helped save the lives of thousands of animals. The contents of this kit have also been field tested in disaster and war zones around the world.

The Humane Society of Canada advises that in every single case when your animal is sick or injured that you immediately contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic. Keep your animal healthy by going to your veterinarian for regular health checkups and by keeping your animal's vaccinations against disease up to date. Have your pets spayed or neutered and do your part to help stop pet overpopulation.

CONTACT: Al Hickey or Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has 6 grandchildren.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 90 countries during the last 35 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. They carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, fund scientific research, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The Humane Society of Canada depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our campaigns to help animals please consider making a donation here.
/For further information: IN: MEDIA

Contact Information

  • Michael O'Sullivan, Executive Director, The Humane Society of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-368-0405
    Secondary Phone: 416-876-9685
    Toll-Free: 800-641-5463