Durban - Animal shelters around Durban are appealing to pet owners whose dogs and cats might have run away because of the new year fireworks to look for them at shelters, where hundreds of animals are being held.

The Durban and Coast SPCA has 300 dogs, almost all of them without identification.

Spokeswomen Claire Buisman said: “Only three dogs have had some form of identification, an ID disc or a microchip, and they were reunited with their owners. Another three dogs have been claimed by their owners.

“The cats have no identification and none have been claimed,” she said.

Buisman said that severely injured animals had been put down.

Buisman said the kennels department had received 54 reports from people who had lost their pets, but that those animals had not been brought in to the SPCA.

Animals that were not claimed after seven days were re-homed, she said. “But we would rather they go back to their owners.”

Phoenix Animal Care and Treatment said they had had 15 stray dogs brought in on New Year’s Eve.

Spokeswoman Neereshini Naidoo said: “When they were brought in they looked shocked. We’ve tried putting up posters, but no one has come forward to claim them.” - The Mercury