By Natasha Joseph

Pet owners should consider staying at home on Wednesday night, Guy Fawkes Night, to offer comfort and reassurance to nervous animals, says the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

If this is not possible, says the organisation's CEO, Allan Perrins, it is still important that all pets be kept indoors.

Outdoor rabbit hutches and aviaries should be covered for the night, and gates should be kept closed so that animals cannot run away, Perrins said.

He also suggested that pet owners keep a radio or television on to "muffle loud noises".

People who own "anxious" dogs could obtain homeopathic or conventional sedatives from a veterinarian, Perrins said.

Animals should have proper identification so that, if they did run away, they could be reunited with their owners, he said.

Perrins also said that all curtains should be closed, because dogs had been known to jump through glass windows in order to escape the noise of fireworks.

The SPCA's hospital, at its Grassy Park headquarters, will be open throughout Wednesday night.

The hospital can be reached on 021 700 4154. Acts of animal cruelty can be reported to 021 700 4158/9. If these numbers are busy, call 083 326 1604.

Perrins said any instances of crackers being let off illegally in suburban areas should be reported directly to the police.

The City of Cape Town has issued a list of sites across the city which have been designated as legal spaces in which to discharge store-bought fireworks.

People or organisations wishing to discharge display fireworks as part of a public event must obtain permission to do so by contacting the Chief Inspector of Explosives and the City of Cape Town. The city's corporate call centre can be contacted on 0860 103 089.

The city's designated areas for the discharge of store-bought fireworks are: the parking areas of Mnandi Beach, Maiden's Cove, Strandfontein Beach and Vygieskraal Stadium, Gordon's Bay Main beach, Strand Beach (at Deep Blue), Macassar Beach, Sunrise Beach in Muizenberg, Fish Hoek Beach (the gravel parking area between the lifesavers' clubhouse and the lighthouse), Hout Bay Beach, De Grendel Sports Ground in Parow, Sleepy Hollow Park in Elsies River, Nooitgedacht Sports Ground in Bishop Lavis, the sports ground in Roosendal Street, Delft, the Blue Down Sports Stadium, Delft, Mamre Park, Blaauwberg, Wesfleur Sportsfield, Atlantis, the Palms site, Milnerton and Blaauwberg Beach.

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