Shelter for animals a concern in cold & heat

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Two pigs were found kept in a tiny pen with just a sheet of tin for shelter, and no access to dry, clean ground.
Camera IconTwo pigs were found kept in a tiny pen with just a sheet of tin for shelter, and no access to dry, clean ground. Credit: RSPCA WA

Finding appropriate shelter for animals is an increasing concern for Capes residents, with the RSPCA receiving more than 600 complaints last financial year.

Ensuring there is adequate shelter from wind, rain and sun is a key part of nurturing an animal regardless of whether it’s a pet or livestock, with harsh penalties applicable to negligent owners.

RSPCA WA South West Inspector Genna Haines said protecting animals from the cold in winter was as important as sheltering them from the heat in summer.

“I’ve been called out to some troubling cases in the region over the past few months,” she said. “A dog tethered in a yard with only a glass fish tank turned on its side for shelter, a dog kept almost exclusively in a metal cage outdoors, with no protection from the elements.

“And two pigs kept in a tiny, filthy pen, with just a sheet of tin for shelter and no access to dry, clean ground.

“Remember, if you have chosen to confine your animals, you must give them somewhere safe, clean and protected to live.”

Dogs and horses are commonly reported to RSPCA WA with shelter concerns.

Where dogs have access to only an outdoor area, during the day or to sleep at night, you must provide proper shelter.

A weatherproof kennel is a great option, placed in a draught-free area near the house, and raised off the ground to keep it warm and protected from flooding and filled with washable rugs, cushions and blankets.

A healthy horse can generally cope with low temperatures, but all horses need protection from the strong wind and rain.

Breeds with a fine skin and coat or horses that have not been able to grow a sufficient winter coat due to clipping or stabling will need protection.

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