DURBAN - The Umbilo Community Policing Forum (CPF) is concerned at the failure of some pet owners to heed warnings of incoming thunderstorms, and ensure the safety of their pets.
The CPF chairperson Heather Roos took to Facebook, saying it was sad that after putting out warnings on pending storms, they had to literally beg pet owners to ensure that their pets were safely indoors where they could stay dry, warm and not be frightened by the thunder and lightning. “Often the poor pets bolt out of the property trying to get to safety.”
Roos said it was the most traumatic experience for animals to go through.
“Animals sense approaching storms long before we get hit with the actual thunder, lightning and rain, so when warnings are put out in advance, please heed these warnings and put your animals inside, so when the storm starts they are already secure and safe,” she said.
“Yesterday (Monday) we put our warnings all over our what's app groups warning pet owners there was a bad storm approaching and to please put their animals inside, however sadly last night way too many animals were running around frantically trying to get to safety from the sounds of the thunder, flashing lightning and where they could feel safe, dry and warm,” Roos said.
She said many dogs had to be rescued off the roads while others ran to other yards and homes for safety. Many of those dogs had no collars on with visible details of their owners on a collar, “so finding the owner becomes a huge mission”.
Roos said it meant on Tuesday morning, many dogs had to be taken to to be scanned for their owners' details.
“Hopefully, they have been microchipped to get these details. If not sadly many beautiful pets will land up at the SPCA.
“Also, a big problem is when owners change their details like addresses and cellphone numbers, they need to update their details on their pets' microchips as well,” Roos said.
She said being a pet owner meant being responsible for that pet's safety and well-being at all times.
“Owners need to think ahead of storms, of gates opening and closing that they can run out of, of ways they could get out your yard, even when it's not storming, and secure that they are safe at all times and looked after as you would do for one of your family members, as that what any pet must be, a part of your family,” Roos reminded.
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