Pets can make you sick

This is the ninth week in which we are running a series of informative articles encouraging the best habits aimed at averting preventable diseases among Sowetan's readers, mainly children.

This is the ninth week in which we are running a series of informative articles encouraging the best habits aimed at averting preventable diseases among Sowetan's readers, mainly children.

Today we focus on pets. Our setting - as usual - is the Othandweni Children's Home in Mofolo, Soweto.

Othandweni, home to 90 vulnerable kids, has strict rules regarding pets, namely that pets are not allowed.

But with 90 adventurous kids, someone always manages to break the rules. And our very own Mageba has done this time and again.

This week Mageba, a bubbly 12-year-old, decided to go to the pets himself. One day after school, Mageba went missing and could not be found anywhere.

After an hour or two, he returned to the home with a rather strange smell. He looked as though he had not had a bath in ages. His clothes were covered with ticks and mud.

He had to be thoroughly bathed using Dettol soap before he went to bed. It was later found that he had been at a nearby bridge, where he was keeping a sick puppy.

The puppy had to be put down. This upset Mageba, but the reasons were explained to him.

l These articles are a nation-building partnership of Dettol, Othandweni and Sowetan as part of the youth and community development activities of the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation.

l Dettol is giving away hampers worth R500 as prizes for our readers. To win a hamper, SMS the word "Dettol" to 38008. SMSes cost R10, of which R5 will be given to support the JHB Child Welfare Society.

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