01/07/2014 02:37 EST | Updated 03/09/2014 05:59 EDT

SPCA opens investigation into guard dogs kept out in cold

The SPCA is investigating several cases of guard dogs being left outside during recent cold snaps in Montreal. 

CBC News reported on Jan. 5 that a plumbing business in the Southwest borough received complaints about leaving two guard dogs outside in freezing temperatures.

Nicholas Gilman, executive director of the Montreal SPCA, said it has opened an investigation to look into the complaints.

"We are investigating, and I don't know whether or not we will have completed our investigation on site today or whether it will move over to tomorrow as well, but we will be investigating," Gilman said.

He said it’s a popular misconception that cats and dogs are well-equipped to withstand cold temperatures.

“If it’s too cold for us, it’s too cold for them,” Gilman said.

“People think, ‘Well dogs and cats have fur coats, so therefore they’re better prepared to be able to handle this cold,’ and that is just not true. These animals have been domesticated for many thousands of years,” he continued.

Gilman said there are some basic measures that could be used to keep the dogs more comfortable, including having a place where they can sit and lie down in comfort and where they are insulated from the wind and cold.

The SPCA will pass its findings onto the Quebec government.