The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Tshwane (Tshwane SPCA) inspectors are bracing themselves for an increase in animal casualties as the festive season approaches. In a bid to curb the annual numbers of casualties, the Tshwane SPCA is warning the public that animals may be injured and killed, unless precautions are taken against the indiscriminate use of fireworks.
The Tshwane SPCA appeals to everyone to be alert to the very real effects of fireworks on animals.
Despite annual warnings to pet owners about the dangers of fireworks we continue to receive calls about animals suffering horrifically from the effects of fireworks. Most of these injuries could be avoided if organised events and fireworks activities are planned more carefully and kept away from residential areas and farm animals.
Animals subjected to noise and the flashing of lights of fireworks is harmed in several ways, including psychologically through extreme fear, which may persist even after the event. This can lead to a lifelong anxiety problem. Animals are injured when they try to run away (breaking through windows, fences, razor wire etc.) Pets are run over by vehicles while running panic stricken in the streets. Wild animals and birds are often forgotten in our primary concern for our pets. Many of these animals hunt at night and can become disorientated by the noise and flashes.
The Tshwane SPCA believes no responsible person should set off fireworks knowing the terror that will be experienced by animals in the vicinity. Pets have hearing ability far in excess of that of humans. The “bang” you hear when a firework is set off is experienced seven times louder by your pet. Remember a dog can hear a grasshopper eat, so imagine the fear an animal feels when a firecracker explodes.
ANY VIOLATION OF THE ACT SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE LOCAL SAPS, METRO POLICE AND ALSO TO THE SPCA.
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An easy guide to protect pets from fireworks
- Never set off fireworks near any animal.
- If possible, stay at home with your pets and encourage calm behaviour.
- If you can’t be home with them, keep them inside and preferably in a room such as the kitchen where the windows are higher (and more difficult to jump through).
- Attempt to reduce any noise by closing curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume, to reduce the noise and effect of fireworks.
- Place familiar and comforting items around them such as baskets, blankets, toys etc.
- Provide them with something to do such as giving your dog a bone to chew or lots of catnip or a catnip toy for felines.
- Ensure your pets have a hearty and nutritious meal around nightfall. This may make them drowsy and more likely to sleep.
- Take rabbits and other outdoor pets into a garage or outbuilding.
- Ask a veterinarian to prescribe a sedative.
- Never, ever give medication for humans to animals. This includes paracetamol & “Rescue Remedy”. Effects on humans and animals are not the same. The consequences could be tragic indeed. The effects and consequences may not be immediate, but long-term health damage could be caused to your pet.
- Leave your pets to take refuge in a corner if they wish. Rather leave your pet to hide, as they feel more comfortable in that position.
- Make sure pets are properly identified with a collar and name tag as well as a microchip. Should all your precautions fail and your pet does escape, you have a better chance of having your pet reunited with you.
- All cats’ collars should have an elastic insert.
- Dogs that panic can choke on a collar or leash so never use a choker chain or slip collar to restrain your dog.
- Pet collars, microchips and sedatives can be obtained from your local SPCA branch or your local veterinary clinic.
- Should you go on vacation, please remember that the SPCA provides boarding facilities for your pets.
- Should private persons look after your pets, please ensure that you provide them with your veterinarian’s name, address and telephone number. They should also be in possession of your pet’s life-history cards.
- Should your pet become lost, please remember that your pet might have been picked up by a member of the public, who could have taken your pet to your local SPCA.
All information about cruelty and injuries to animals should be reported to the local SPCA branch, at the following telephone numbers. Information will be handled in strict confidence. Emergency staff will be on duty during the festive period.
|Tshwane SPCA – Waltloo
|Tshwane SPCA – Centurion