Frigid temperatures might keep most people indoors hidden under wool blankets to stay warm. Snuggling up next to Fido can add some extra protection as the thermometer plummets below freezing.
But some brave souls will participate in local Polar Plunges, which involve diving into chilly waters to raise money for the Special Olympics. Recently, one dog owner came under fire for allowing his furry friend to take a dip with him.
Investigating allegations of animal cruelty
According to Mass Live, the Massachusetts Special Olympics organization tried to distance itself from Polar Plunge’s recent event at Spec Pond in Wilbraham. More than 100 residents were present at the event, despite the state’s current brutal weather conditions. However, photos emerged that showed one resident possibly pushing a dog into the water, raising concerns about animal cruelty.
“Special Olympics Massachusetts and Law Enforcement Torch Run in no way condone this action and we are very shocked and disappointed that this happened at what has consistently been a great community event,” read a press release.
The plunging dog was captured by a resident’s camera and the picture was uploaded to Facebook, where it was circulated shortly after the event. Yet, the Wilbraham Police Department issued a formal response after investigating the matter and reportedly doesn’t believe there was any evidence of mistreatment of the pooch. Officers spoke with the dog’s owner and had members of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals observe the canine following the event. After being checked by a veterinarian, the dog was cleared of any potential harm.
The Polar Plunge allowed people to register and donate money to the MSO organization, and then jump through a hole in Spec Pond into the freezing water. While there were no animal cruelty charges, MSO spokesperson Chris Ritchie explained there would be changes made to the event in the future.
While this incident is isolated, owners should know how to keep their four-legged friends toasty when coming in from the outdoors.
Heating up your canine
Although summer and winter are two different beasts, they both present challenges to keeping pets safe and comfortable. But your pooch can weather the storm with some help from you.
VetStreet explained that small and old dogs are typically ill-equipped to handle extreme cold. If your canine likes spending their time outside throughout the day, you should provide them with a shelter that shields them from any high winds or precipitation. The structure should be well-insulated for your dog’s body heat to maintain the appropriate temperature.
In addition, the cold, wet ground and excess salt can damage your canine’s paws. Consider investing in specialized boots that protect the pads from toxins commonly found in de-icing products. It’s also important to wipe their paws after coming inside to ensure that there are no residual effects once they’re back home. Maybe you can toss a special jacket on their back to add extra protection for walks.