Oneida County, NY (WIBX) - On the heels of news from the Utica Police Department about a male Pitt Bull found tied up on a street corner in Utica, People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals is offering some tips on how to protect pets during the winter months.

Bring Your Pets inside! That's the first simple but urgent message from PETA. Spokesperson, Ashley Gonzalez said the recent report concerning the abandoned Pitt Bull  serves as a reminder that more needs to be done to stop the mistreatment of animals. She said, "If you find yourself in a situation where you can't care for an animals, seek out your local humane society, a local animal shelter, there's somebody in your community who will help you take care of that animal. Never leave a dog out to fend for themselves because they just really can't do that,  and especially if you tie them up, they aren't going to be able to care for themselves."

Gonzalez says every year, PETA receives complaints about people leaving dogs outside in the cold. She said there is a misconception that because most pets have fur, they don't need protection from the cold. She said, "Dogs and other animals can still suffer from frostbite and exposure, and they can become dehydrated when water sources freeze." Also, she said the winter months are especially tough for "backyard dogs" because they tend to go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care.  For more information contact the group at (757) 622- PETA or on line at

Peta Tips:

  • Keep animals inside. This is especially important to remember when it comes to puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair, including pointers, beagles, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans. Short-haired animals will also benefit from a warm sweater or coat on walks.
  • Don't allow your cat or dog to roam freely outdoors. During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started.
  • Wipe off your dogs' or cats' legs, feet, and stomachs after they come in from the snow. Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them. You should also increase animals' food rations during the winter because they are burning more calories to keep warm.
  • Keep an eye out for strays. Take unidentified animals inside until you can find their guardians or get them to an animal shelter. If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide food and water and call your local humane society for assistance in trapping them and getting them indoors.
  • When you see dogs who have been left outdoors, provide them with proper shelter. Details on how to provide housing can be found here.
  • When temperatures fall below freezing, birds and other animals may have trouble finding food and water. Hang bird feeders from trees or spread birdseed on the ground. Provide access to liquid water by filling a heavy water bowl and breaking the surface ice twice a day.