Microchip pets ahead of Guy Fawkes

The Animal Welfare Society of South Africa is running a campaign to microchip pets ahead of Guy Fawkes, when animal shelters are swamped with fireworks-startled strays.

It is offering discounted microchipping for R100 a pet until Sunday November 4 at its headquarters in Papkuilsvlei Road, in Philippi.

The society’s spokesman, Allan Perrins, said many of the strays AWS admitted each month had no identification, which made it very hard to reunite them with their owners.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have admitted over 120 stray dogs and 33 stray cats. Only 28 dogs and none of the cats were claimed. None had identification. On average, 43% of our kennels are occupied by stray animals. Most arrive in poor condition with no identification and need far more rehabilitation than a bowl of food and water,” said Mr Perrins.

The society’s resources were usually stretched after Guy Fawkes as it struggled to reunite unidentified strays with their owners, he said. The AWS hoped to make that job easier by encouraging pet owners to microchip their animals.

“We aim to microchip at least 400 (hopefully more) pets between now and Guy Fawkes,” Mr Perrins said.

Some tips to keep pets safe over Guy Fawkes

Make sure your pet has identification.

If possible stay home.

Keep pets indoors.

Close gates, doors and curtains.

Keep pets away from windows.

Mask the noise of crackers by switching on the TV or radio.

Take your dog for a long walk to tire them out before the racket begins.

Bring cages and hutches indoors – all animals are terrified of fireworks – not only dogs.

Surround pets with familiar and comforting items.

You are you pet’s alpha, so stay calm.

If you know that your pet is likely to become petrified consult your local vet or animal welfare clinic about prescribing a calming remedy.

Report illicit or illegal use of fireworks to law enforcement or SAPS.

Call the AWS on 021 692 2626 or 082 601 1761 or nearest animal shelter to report any animals in distress.