Puppy abandoned in the cold

Tyler Clarke
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A shivering and scared puppy tied up in frigid weather greeted Leanne Roberts when she got to work at the Prince Albert SPCA on Thursday morning.


“This morning when I got in at about 7:45 a.m. I saw a little black shaking huddle under a tree, and upon further inspection I saw Coco with a note,” the Prince Albert SPCA assistant manager relayed, noting that with wind chill the temperature was about -36 C.

“That’s very cold. Especially when you’re a shorthair dog with no meat on her bones. You can see her hipbones, you can see her spine!

“I would say she had been there for a while, just based on the fact that where she had tried to make herself warm, huddled up, there was a fairly good indentation in the snow where her body heat had melted the snow where she was laying.”

By the early afternoon, Coco was seen huddled in a kennel, receptive to cuddles, and by late afternoon she’d made her way into the SPCA’s administrative office where she was given more consistent attention.

Found attached to Coco was a note that clarified that the canine was dumped on her latest owners by someone under the promise that she’d be picked up within two weeks, but failed to do so.

“I’m sorry to just dump her here, but I don’t know what else to do with her,” the note reads. “I can’t afford to keep her and I don’t have the time to give her attention.”

These are bad excuses for leaving a dog tied up in the cold, Roberts said.

“Why do people do this? Especially last night, when it was so cold,” she said. “They could at least have given her a blanket, at least get her off the snow where she wouldn’t be touching the sensitive pads of her feet on the ground.”

Roberts added that the SPCA is always willing to work with people, regardless of their situation.

“If it’s a matter of, right now, I can’t afford to keep them in dog food -- Some people get stuck between paycheques. It’s Christmas. Money can be tight. We are more than willing to provide dog food,” Roberts said.

“If you’re looking to re-home your dog and we don’t physically have the space here, we have some great contacts with rescue groups in the province who a lot of times are willing to take these dogs.

That’s very cold. Especially when you’re a shorthair dog with no meat on her bones. You can see her hipbones, you can see her spine! Leanne Roberts

“Tying your dogs up, whether it’s minus 30 or plus 30, it isn’t right no matter which way you look at it.”

Coco appears to be a female collie mix of about seven months of age, Roberts said. SPCA staff hasn’t figured out whether she has been spayed, and will find out within the next day or two whether she’s sustained any frostbite.

The SPCA is asking anyone with information about Coco to contact them at 763-6110.


SPCA is over-capacity

It’s the worst time of year for the Prince Albert SPCA to be over-capacity, but, they are.

“We have no air exchange system in here, and cats especially tend to get what’s called upper respiratory infection, from lack of proper air exchange, stress -- all those things will affect them,” Roberts said.

Until further notice, the SPCA will be unable to accept stray cats or dogs due to a lack of space -- though, as Roberts notes with the case of Coco, there’s always something to be worked out.

The Prince Albert SPCA is currently housing 56 adult cats and kittens within 50 kennels, and 33 mature dogs and puppies in 29 dog kennels.

“For those thinking about adopting, now would be a great time,” manager Debbie Lehner said in a release. “Every one of these pets has an owner and it is very sad to have these pets here instead of in their homes. We are in the process of contacting other rescue groups to see if they can take any of the dogs or puppies.”

Pets can be viewed online, at www.princealbertspca.com, and the SPCA can be contacted at 763-6110. 

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Recent comments

  • mom
    December 19, 2013 - 21:40

    Why do people treat animals this way? She could have waited until the building was open and dropped the dog off. This makes me so angry.