RSPCA WA saw a 55 percent increase in calls raising concerns about animals without adequate protection.
For this reason, the animal welfare charity encourages pet owners to stock up for the winter or bring their furry friends inside.
“During the winter months, hundreds of abandoned, neglected, and injured animals rely on RSPCA WA for shelter, warmth, and care,” said Hannah Dreaver, executive manager of Animal and Enforcement Operations.
“At the moment we have a capacity of 85 percent for dogs and 70 percent for cats. We need this space for urgent cases of atrocities brought in by the controllers over the winter.
“That is why we urge pet owners to do the right thing and to protect their animals from the harsh weather.
“We don’t want to hear from animals that are struggling with illness or pain because of the cold.”
Ms. Dreaver suggested bringing pets indoors whenever possible – even just in a sheltered space like a laundry or an enclosed garage.
“If your pet is sleeping outside, make sure they have access to a weatherproof shelter with plenty of cozy blankets that are protected from drafts and off the ground to protect them from flooding,” she said.
“Pocket pets like guinea pigs and rabbits will benefit from some extra bedding to snuggle up in, and even farm animals with thick winter coats should have access to a shelter to protect them from the rain and wind.”
Ms. Dreaver said some dogs might benefit from wearing a coat at night when it’s very cold, depending on whether they’re used to it.
“Just make sure the pet clothing is properly fitted and remember that some dogs don’t wear clothing,” she said.
“With horses, a blanket could help keep them warm and dry.
“Cold weather can be very harsh on older dogs and cats with arthritis. If your pet shows signs of stiffness, chews or licks in places, or has difficulty climbing stairs, speak to your veterinarian.”
If you see a pet in poor condition or without shelter from the rain and cold this winter, please report it to RSPCA WA online or by calling 1300 CRUELTY (278 3589).