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

Dan Kobe

Alberta SPCA to take over answering ALERT Line

March 21, 2024 The Alberta SPCA, in collaboration with the former Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce plans for the future of the AFAC ALERT Line. With the dissolution of AFAC underway, effective March 21, 2024 calls to the ALERT Line will be answered by the Alberta SPCA. “We

Read More »
Dan Kobe

Compassion for Collectors

When the Alberta SPCA Peace Officer arrives at a property to check on the welfare of animals, she is always on the lookout for signs of a bigger problem. Sometimes, it’s a nearby vehicle that is stacked full of clothes or bottled water, or perhaps it’s the home’s windows, with the curtains drawn shut, but

Read More »
Dan Kobe

Foster’s Story

Animals are staying in our care longer… but support from friends like you ensure these animals receive the love and care they deserve, no matter how long they’re with us! When our Peace Officer Danny arrived on scene to investigate a complaint of animal neglect, he wasn’t sure what he’d discover – and that’s pretty

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
Animal Protection Line