Southwestern Ontario experienced a "polar vortex" in the Winter of 2013-14 when temperatures were at extreme subzero levels for extended periods, yet numerous local pet owners left their dogs outside claiming that their dogs "wanted" to be there. Their ignorance put their pets at risk of frostbite, hypothermia and death.
Unfortunately, current provincial law is very vague as it relates to temperature thresholds for pets left outdoors, including outdoor dogs who have dog houses or enclosures. The OSPCA Act merely states that "[e]very animal must be provided with adequate and appropriate protection from the elements, including harmful temperatures" but it does not state what those temperatures are! The Windsor-Essex Humane Society suggests that dogs should not be left outside in temperatures below freezing, but even 0 degrees Celsius is inhumane for lengthy periods. Current law does call for adequate enclosures for outdoor dogs, but the by-law needs to be far more demanding in what is required to make an enclosure adequate.
Please sign this petition to implore that Windsor City Council creates a by-law that establishes that no person shall allow an animal to remain outdoors during any Extreme Weather Alert issued by Environment Canada, except for brief walks or brief periods of exercise. Additionally, during times when it is acceptable for a dog to be in an outside enclosure, the dog shall only be housed in a water-proof/ double-panel dog house with foam insulation throughout, which includes all side panels, the flooring and the ceiling.
Please help those who don't have a voice. Our dogs are loyal, trusting and loving family members; the least we can do is keep them safe.