Snow. (Submitted/Lakes District News)

Freezing cold kills dog in Burns Lake

Pet neglect continues to be a big issue in the area

Last week, when the temperatures went close to -32 degrees Celsius, a Burns Lake resident found a hapless dog half-frozen and despite efforts to save him, the animal lost his life.

Kim Anderson, a Burns Lake resident got out around six in the morning to start her car and when she walked towards her garbage can, saw a small mound of what looked like an ice block down her street. However, Anderson’s dog sensed something and ran down towards the ice block.

That’s when she realized that the ice block moved and was actually a dog, half-frozen.

She quickly picked up the dog, ran back to her house and put him on a dog bed with space heaters around, blankets over him, tried rubbing him, tried to get him to drink some water.

“I thought he was going to be okay and I turned around to get some more water but when I turned back, I realized he wasn’t moving,” said an emotional Anderson. She could no longer hear the dog’s heartbeat, nor could she feel his breath.

“From the time I found him, brought him home it was 20 minutes tops but the poor thing passed away,” she said.

According to Anderson, he was a medium-sized, young dog but she had never seen him before around her street and he was probably out in the cold all night long.

“For me, I always think, if it is too cold for me outside, it is definitely too cold for my animals,” said Anderson, who herself has a golden retriever.

READ MORE: Pet neglect problem persists in Burns Lake

The Lakes Animal Friendship Society’s (LAFS) Alistair Schroff who was deeply saddened by the incident, said that leaving pets in these conditions is cruel and should be reported to the RCMP or BC SPCA.

“Thanks so much to the good Samaritan who tried to help this poor dog. We tell students that for a dog with short fur, it is like standing out in the winter cold with a T-shirt. When it is cold like this, all dogs and cats need to be inside where they are safe and warm. Otherwise, they will suffer, get frostbitten or even die,” he said.

The LAFS had earlier this year come out with an information sheet on what the community can do in cases of pet abuse, neglect or abandoned and stray animals.

If a person sees an animal in bad condition, sick, injured never has water, left on tangled chain, being abused and/or the owner is not helpful, the RCMP or the BC SPCA should be contacted. Outside the village boundaries, if anyone is to spot any loose dogs or abused dogs, they should immediately contact the RCMP or the BC SPCA.

In the village of Burns Lake, including Woyenne and Ts’ilh Kaz Koh IR-18, if a loose dog is causing nuisance like getting in everyone’s garbage, people should call the Village of Burns Lake at 250-692-7587.

If a loose dog has hurt someone or if you are worried that a loose dog will bite or attack another animal, or if a loose dog is on the street/highway, community is encouraged to call the RCMP or the village.

“Something’s got to change. We need more responsible pet owners. If you can’t keep your animals at home, don’t get one. Use common sense,” said Anderson.

ALSO READ: Burns Lake pets out and about

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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