Keeping your pets safe this holiday

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Manager and senior inspector of the Bloemfontein Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Reinet Meyer.

Having an “escape artist” for a pet can be challenging and with the holidays right at our doorstep, Bloemfontein Courant called in the professionals for some tips to keep your four-legged children safe.

Most of these animal lovers agree that lighting up the night sky with fireworks can be a beautiful display for us as humans but can be horrible for our pets. Fireworks, thunderstorms and owners going on holiday are seen as the main causes of lost or stray animals over the holidays.

Manager and senior inspector of the Bloemfontein Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Reinet Meyer, told the publication that the December and January period is the busiest time at any SPCA and they are usually inundated with stray and injured animals.

“It is traumatic for the animals to get lost, suddenly finding themselves in traffic with cars surrounding them. Sometimes people try to catch these animals out of the goodness of their hearts, and then the animals start running from fear and end up getting hit by a car. It is really bad as they can be terribly injured or even die,” said Meyer.

According to her the SPCA will always take in a stray and take care of it. She pleads with the public to try and pick up a stray and bring it to them. “We plead with the public to put their animals in an animal hotel for the period that they are away or to get a responsible person to stay with the animals 24 hours a day.

Just having someone there for an hour or two a day is not good enough. So much can happen in the other 23 hours of the day.”

Meyer also told Bloemfontein Courant that it is important for the public to know that it is against the law to shoot fireworks and a person can be given a heavy fine. “We would like to ask the public to rather stay home on New Year’s Eve with their animals and keep them in the house. They can even play some quiet music.

Also, get your pets a meal they can eat and try to distract them.” She also suggests that pet owners keep doors and windows closed so the sound doesn’t affect the animals that much. They can even get sedative pills from the SPCA or a veterinarian to give to the animals before neighbours or other people in the vicinity start shooting fireworks illegally.

PIERCE VAN HEERDEN
pierce@mahareng.co.za