Owners urged to claim their dogs at the SPCA after fireworks fiasco

2010-01-04 00:00

IF your dog was frightened by the loud bangs of fireworks released at midnight on New Year’s Eve, chances are it could be at the SPCA waiting to be claimed.

The SPCA’s Maureen Vida said yesterday that the organisation is “appalled by the callous attitude and irresponsible behaviour of some revellers in the city”.

“Fireworks in Pietermaritzburg on New Year’s Eve were once again responsible for the suffering and trauma to hundreds of animals.”

She said that although the SPCA is closed on public holidays, skeleton staff have no choice but to open the gates and the phone lines as distressed pet owners phone or come in looking for their lost animals.

“Other caring people brought in traumatised strays from the streets. Thankfully, many of these were re-united with their owners immediately. We are most grateful to the public for their support and assistance at this time.”

Vida said that by noon on Saturday, 36 dogs had been brought into the SPCA, 39 had been reported missing and only eight had been claimed.

“As our kennels are already full because of the holiday period, we urge the public to look for their missing pets at the SPCA as soon as possible.”

Vida added that the impact of loud fireworks on animals other than dogs is just as severe although not as noticeable.

“An abnormal amount of injured and baby hadedahs were also brought into the SPCA on New Year’s Day …”

Vida said that in 2008, Councillor Mark Steele spearheaded a campaign to amend the by-laws in Pietermaritzburg to accommodate restrictions on the use of fireworks in the city.

“Since his departure to become an MP, no further progress has been made. In view of the unacceptable volume and calibre of fireworks used in the city on New Year’s Eve, irate members of the community, with the full support of the SPCA and SAPS explosives unit, will once again be putting pressure on the city council to change the … inconspicuous by-laws to incorporate restrictions to fireworks in Pietermaritzburg.”


SPCA spokeswoman Maureen Vida was appreciative of the efforts of members of the public who assisted with strays.

Chloe Boshoff (25) collected three terrified dogs on New Year’s Eve and kept them at home with her until Friday morning.

Boshoff said she was driving home along Alexandra Road when she saw a Jack Russell in the road. “We have a Jack Russell at home and my heart just went out to him.”

She stopped her car and the dog came up to her and jumped into her car. In Ridge Road she found a Border collie and a mixed breed dog, both of which she loaded into her car.

Boshoff took the dogs to the SPCA but was reluctant to leave the frightened animals in the cages outside, so she took them home with her to join her own two dogs for the rest of the night.

“They were very thirsty and hungry and one was covered in ticks. It was like a dog show at home with all the dogs in the house.”

Boshoff found places for them all to sleep, and took them to the SPCA on Saturday morning.

The Border collie was subsequently claimed by its owner, said Vida.

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