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Durban SPCA records more injured and stray pets this Diwali than last year

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
The SPCA in Durban had its hands full during Diwali celebrations on Monday night.
The SPCA in Durban had its hands full during Diwali celebrations on Monday night.

More dogs went astray or were hit by cars during the discharge of Diwali fireworks on Monday night compared with last year.

The Durban & Coast SPCA inspectorate found this year was busier than last year’s festival of lights, where fireworks and lamps are lit to mark the all-important event on the Hindu calendar.

Spokesperson Tanya Fleischer told TimesLIVE: “The phone line was busy. All the calls were to collect stray dogs. Our inspectors were all out multiple times during the evening. There were also dogs hit by cars who sustained injuries.”

She encouraged members of the public with missing pets to check if they are being held at the SPCA in Springfield.

The Kloof and Highway SPCA put out an appeal to pet owners to be prepared for “fireworks season”, which included Diwali, Guy Fawkes on November 5 and New Year’s Eve.

“The loud bangs which very often accompany fireworks cause animals great distress, fear and suffering as their hearing is far more acute than ours,” it said.

An SPCA guide on how to keep your pets safe during 'fireworks season.
An SPCA guide on how to keep your pets safe during 'fireworks season.
Image: via Facebook

“Some animals cause injury to themselves by jumping through glass windows, over spiked fences or by running into traffic as examples.

“The SPCA does not enforce the laws relating to the use of fireworks. The Explosives Act is enforced by the SAPS to whom matters of concern need to be reported.

“This act covers the sale of fireworks as well as issues relating to the discharge of fireworks in public places. Local bylaws regulate the discharge of fireworks on private property.”

How to reduce stress on pets during 'fireworks season':

  • Ensure your animals have some form of identity, for example, a collar and tag, with your contact details on the tag, and/or microchip. Microchipping can be done by your local vet or contact 031-764-1212/3 to get your pet microchipped.
  • If your pets are frightened of fireworks, staying at home with them means you would be there to comfort them. Alternatively, try to ensure that someone is able to watch them for you or keep your pets inside, draw the curtains and play calming music or the radio.
  • Entertain your pets by giving them something to chew on or play with, catnip is a great idea for cats.
  • Consult your vet or local SPCA for calming medication. Do not give medication intended for humans to animals.


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