OF the 102 stray dogs and 52 stray cats which were collected by the Pietermaritzburg SPCA in December, only 20% have been claimed by owners.
Speaking to the Maritzburg Fever, the SPCA manager Alistair Sinclair said that the festive season has been very busy and asked pet owners to collect their pets from them.
“It was hectic and busy and we had some casualties. We were called to attend to a case where someone put fireworks under a dog’s paw and the fireworks blew the dog’s paw pad. That dog is still here with us and is being treated.
“In another case a man put his two dogs in the garage and the dogs went crazy and knocked over the drain cleaner which burnt them. They had chemical burns you would not believe. Unfortunately, both had to be euthanised.
“We had a few deaths that we picked up on the road. Due to the fireworks, dogs got knocked over by cars as they ran onto the highway, as well as in town. We picked up 23 dead dogs,” said Sinclair.
During the hours between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Sinclair said the boarding kennels were so full they had to open J block, the main emergency block.
“We did have trailers on standby to use as temporary kernels, but thankfully we did not have to use them. Our clinic has been full and we still have animals that have not been claimed and we don’t know why.
“In the next few days we will still be finding a lot more stray dogs. Last year some of the dogs that were lost in Cato Ridge were found in Hilton. The animals that came in before Christmas are already on the pound site. For the animals collected after New Year’s Day we will give the owners a grace period to collect them until next Monday. “If they do not collect them, the animals will be our property and whoever comes afterwards to collect their pets will have to go through the whole adoption process. People need to come to the animal shelters and must not rely on a phone call,” said Sinclair.
On the week of Christmas SPCA’s senior inspector Rose Stafford said she received 111 phone calls.
“There was no New Year and no Christmas [celebrations]. Even the vet came after hours. We ran from 7am on New Year’s Eve and closed at 1pm, but we still stayed on until 4pm. At 7pm we were back at our posts until sunrise the following morning,” said Sinclair.