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Animal Welfare Society of South Africa warns pet owners to keep an eye on their dogs when taking them for a walk

Stacey was penetrated with acacia thorns all over her body a few weeks ago. Supplied

Stacey was penetrated with acacia thorns all over her body a few weeks ago. Supplied

Published Nov 15, 2021


Cape Town - With the festive season upon us, the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (AWSSA) warns pet owners not to allow their puppies and dogs to wander off into unfamiliar places while taking them for a walk.

A few weeks ago, the Boer family from Mitchells Plain went to visit friends in Chatsworth near Malmesbury and decided to take their dog Stacey with them.

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On one of their walks, Stacey dashed off to explore and a few minutes later, she returned with acacia thorns which penetrated all over her body.

The family pulled out more than 100 thorns but noticed hundreds more and decided to take Stacey to the AWSSA in Philippi because the thorns needed to be removed surgically in theatre.

Owner Daniel said: “Both my brother Darryl and I spent hours pulling out the thorns with tweezers before deciding to take her to the AWSSA. She’s still not herself but (doing) better. I’m taking her on Saturday to have her stitches removed. I want to thank the AWSSA for taking such good care of Stacey.”

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AWSSA spokesperson Allan Perrins said it is important for pet owners to keep their dogs and puppies under control at all times.

“To allow one's pet to stray off especially in unfamiliar surroundings is tantamount to courting disaster. Pet owners should resist the temptation to allow their dogs to roam free as accidents can and do happen. Dog walking is not a case of out-of-sight and out of mind. Pet owners should also ensure that their dogs and puppies are easily identifiable by having them microchipped or by fitting a collar with a name tag.

“Be aware of your surroundings. If it is hot then do not walk your dog or puppy on a tarred surface as their pads can burn and they can suffer heat stroke. If there is a likelihood of your dog encountering wild animals, spare a thought for them and the potential dangers they may pose.

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“If your pet has been in ‘hibernation mode’ throughout winter. then take it easy, don’t venture out on a marathon too quickly. Always take a bottle of fresh water and container on a walk as dogs can suffer from heat exhaustion and dehydration. It is not advisable to walk an unvaccinated dog or puppy in any public place as they can contract any number of potentially fatal dread diseases such as canine parvovirus and canine distemper,” he added.

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