Guy Fawkes and Diwali are approaching. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA calls for restraint, responsibility and consideration from all quarters.
Diwali is the Festival of Light and its beauty is inherent. Loud bangs form no part of it. Guy Fawkes has no relevance to South Africa and it is questioned why it is “celebrated” at all.
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.
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 sale of fireworks as well as issues relating to the discharge of fireworks in public places. The City of Cape Town has once again not approved any designated sites for the discharge of fireworks and complaints regarding this must be directed to the City of Cape Town by calling 0215961999.
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.
Stay with your pets. Keep them indoors. If an animal is sensitive by nature, then consult your Veterinarian for advice. Do not give medication intended for humans to animals and above all, ensure that animals are not in danger of harming themselves if they bolt – even indoors – or react when a firework is discharged in the area. Despite regulations and appeals for calm, this can occur.
This opportunity is taken to ask everyone to ensure that animals have identification. The SPCA provides microchipping services at a nominal fee
Dangerous and illegal behaviour relating to fireworks needs to be reported to the South African Police Service, giving full details, or to Law Enforcement who enforce by-laws in Cape Town.
We extend good wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali and we trust that this year, the celebrations will be in accordance with the true spirit of the Festival of Light: – beauty, light, love and above all, compassion.
How To Protect Your Pets
We advise pet owners to adopt the following guidelines to help protect their pets:
- Ensure all animals have identification; preferably a micro-chip or at least with a dog tag because without identification, the task of reuniting lost pets with their owners will be that much more difficult;
- Please stay at home with your pets;
- Bring your pets inside and give them access to a room that is safe and secure – create a small den for them with blankets, pillows and a favourite toy;
- Try and mask any noise by drawing the curtains and playing calming music;
- Put familiar and comforting things around them;
- Give your pets a nutritious and balanced meal – this is likely to make them more sleepy;
- Give them something to chew on – a chewy bone or catnip toys for cats;
- If you suspect your pet will react badly to fireworks, please seek professional advice from your veterinarian who may prescribe a sedative to help them cope. There are also effective homeopathic remedies, such as CalmEze, available from the SPCA Vet Shops in Plumstead and Grassy Park that use natural ingredients to help keep your pet calm and relaxed.