VANCOUVER, March 11, 2002 - The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is warning people with pets to ensure that their animal companions are protected from the numerous dangers that exist at this time of year.


Last week a dog was rescued from the Rideau River by a firefighter and the dog’s human guardian. This potentially tragic situation had a happy ending, but many others that will occur this spring won’t.


The Humane Society of Canada is urging people to ensure that their animal companions cannot access frozen ponds, lakes, rivers and other waterways.

"This is the time of year when family pets can fall through thin ice and into frigid waters," says HSC Western Regional Director Al Hickey. "Many of these unfortunate animals will succumb to the frigid water or drown. The tragedy of these terrible situations is that they are usually preventable."

"Another danger to pets occurs when spring rains and melting snow and ice turn streams, creeks and rivers into raging torrents of water," warns HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan. "Pets who enter these dangerous waterways, whether on purpose or by accident, are often swept to their deaths."

Pets also place themselves and other animals in danger when they are allowed to chase other animals. "Many wild animals become more protective and a result more vulnerable during the spring when they are having and raising their young," says O’Sullivan. "Pets should never be allowed to run at large, but this is especially important during the spring."

Spring is a beautiful time of year, but it can also be a dangerous time for pets. The Humane Society of Canada is asking people to protect their pets by keeping their animal companions on their property or under control when out for a walk.

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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