Animal Protection Line


Have The Courage

The kindest thing you can do is prevent needless suffering this winter

With bitter weather approaching, the Alberta SPCA encourages owners of senior horses to evaluate whether their animal can endure an Alberta winter. Older horses struggle to create body warmth in the extreme cold and many will suffer despite their owner’s best efforts.

“The kindest thing you can do for an aging animal is to prevent needless suffering,” said Alberta SPCA Peace Officer Stuart Dodds. “And one consideration needs to be humane euthanasia.”


Alberta SPCA Peace Officers often receive complaints of horses potentially in distress throughout the winter where an aging horse can’t cope with the weather. The Alberta SPCA urges owners of senior horses to evaluate their animals now, and to Have The Courage to make a compassionate decision regarding their horse if there’s any doubt about their ability to cope with winter.

Emotional Decision for Owners

Horse owner Lynsay has faced this heartbreaking dilemma. She has already euthanized her long time horse, Gooseberry, and will say goodbye to another horse, Aspen, knowing the animal will struggle this winter.

“That truly is the best thing we can give as humans back to them is let them leave Earth with grace and dignity,” said Lynsay.

If there’s any question about a horse’s ability to endure winter weather, the Alberta SPCA encourages owners to talk to their veterinarian about whether it is the right time to consider euthanasia. Horse owners may also want to inquire with trusted friends about the animal’s health and/or use a quality of life assessment tool to determine whether an animal is suffering.

Watch Our "Have The Courage" Video

Listen to this Episode

Other episodes you may be interested in

Alberta SPCA News

Alberta LiveStock
Dan Kobe

Smoky Conditions Can Affect Animals

It’s smoky in Alberta! We can all feel how the smoke impacts us, and if the smoke is bothering you, it is likely irritating for your pets as well. Wildfires are more common in the United States and the American Veterinary Medical Association lists these tips for keeping your pet healthy during times of intense

Read More »
Dan Kobe

Alberta SPCA Helping Animals Impacted By Wildfires

Alberta SPCA Peace Officers and staff are working hard to help animals impacted by wildfires in Alberta. Team members have been active in Drayton Valley and Brazeau County, at the request of the municipalities, feeding animals in their homes, pets that were not able to evacuate with their families. Teams of Peace Officers, staff members,

Read More »
abandoned cats
Dan Kobe

Abandoned Kittens Highlight Need to Spay/Neuter Pets

After two kittens were found abandoned in a child’s backpack last week in the St. Albert area, the Alberta SPCA and the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) are reminding pet guardians about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets to prevent unwanted litters. The six-month-old kittens were found together, enclosed in a pink backpack in

Read More »

The vision of the Alberta SPCA is that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely.

To hear the latest from the Alberta SPCA, subscribe to our newsletter.

Don't miss new updates in your email

Cash Lottery

Win Cash Help Animals