Cape Town - With Diwali and Guy Fawkes Day being celebrated on Thursday and Friday, respectively, pet owners are advised to be responsible, and to ensure their animals’ safety and comfort.
Animal welfare organisations shared some tips for pet owners to take heed of.
Spokesperson for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Belinda Abraham said loud bangs do not form part of Diwali, and Guy Fawkes has no relevance to South Africa.
“It has become increasingly evident that reckless individuals are using both ‘events’ to utilise fireworks in a particularly anti-social manner. This includes ignoring any restrictions and causing damage to property, as well as terrifying communities and animals.
“Anyone with an animal is requested to be responsible, and to ensure the animal’s safety and comfort. The hearing of animals is far more acute and sensitive than the hearing of a human. If a dog can hear a grasshopper eat, imagine what a firework sounds like,” she said.
Marketing manager at TEARS Animal Rescue Wendy Scheepers echoed the sentiment that dogs and cats have acute hearing sensitivity.
“Unfortunately, many pets sustain life-threatening injuries, while trying to escape from firework noise. It can engage their flight mode and they can get lost or injured. Please assure that all pets and animals are kept secured before, during, and after the use of fireworks. Sitting with your pets can assist in helping them keep calm. It is best to keep your animals indoors,” she said.
Spokesperson for the Animal Welfare of SA Allan Perrins said they anticipate and are already preparing to receive lost and stray pets, who are terrified of fireworks.
“When lost pets are adequately identified, it makes the task of reuniting them with their owners much easier. We therefore appeal to pet owners to please identify their pets, preferably with a microchip or at least with a safe collar and tag. Some advice to pet owners include: try and mask any noise by drawing the curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume and, if you can't be at home, keep your pets inside and, preferably, in a room that is safe and secure,” he said.