March 19, 2003, VANCOUVER - The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking people to protect their pets from spring hazards.


"The warmer temperatures being experienced in many parts of Canada pose serious risks to animals," warns HSC Western Regional Director Al Hickey. "Melting snow and ice significantly increases the water levels of streams, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes making these waterways extremely dangerous for pets who may fall or jump into the water which is still at the freezing point or just above," states Hickey. "Animals can drown or suffer hypothermia if exposed to these frigid bodies of water."


HSC Executive Director, Michael O’Sullivan asks that pets not be allowed to run loose - especially in areas where there are rivers, ponds and other waterways.

"Rivers, creeks and even streams are also dangerous to pets as the melting snow and ice turns these waterways into raging torrents of water," says O’Sullivan. "Warmer temperatures creates another risk for pets as the ice on ponds and lakes become dangerously thin. Every year pets fall through the ice into the frigid water. While pets should never be allowed to run at large, even animal companions on a walk with their human guardians must be under control and prevented from accessing any dangerous bodies of water," continues O’Sullivan.

The Humane Society of Canada is also asking people to ensure that their pets are not allowed to chase, harass, scare or kill wild animals, many of whom are particularly vulnerable in the spring as they are having and caring for their young.

To help ensure the safety of pets and wildlife, the Humane Society of Canada is requesting that people keep their animal companions on their own property and under control when taking them for walks.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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