COLLECTION TIN THEFT

The Animal Rescue Organisation is losing out on hundreds of rands in donations due to collection tins, being stolen from shop counters or individuals posing as staff members and removing tins.

A snapshot of a suspected thief, who has been seen in the Helderberg area is on file and has been given to all shop managers in the vicinity. We have over a thousand tins situated on shop counters in and around the Cape Metropole, and they bring in over R12 000 per month, this is a significant amount and one which assists ARO greatly.

Despite the recent thefts, members of public wanting to donate / place money in the tins should not hesitate, we are keeping a close eye on all our tins and it is now compulsory that each tin is secured to the shop counter by chain and only persons with an ID card may collect a tin.

I am not posting this article to put the public off donating via our collection tins, as it is a vital part of our monthly income, however, we are appealing to all shop owners and employees to be more vigilant. Shop owners and employees are to request identification from the person removing a tin, especially if they do not provide a replacement tin.

I would like to thank all the outlets that allow us to place our collection tins on their counters, it is greatly appreciated, and all the small change is making a BIG difference.

If you have any further information or to request a collection tin be placed in your shop, kindly contact the Animal Rescue Organisation on 021 396 5511.

Until next time

Jess

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NO HOT DOGS!

With the extreme temperatures and heat we have been experiencing recently, It had me thinking about the effects it has on our pets. Both myself and the Animal Rescue Organisation is appealing to pet owners to ensure your animals have access to plenty of fresh, clean water and shelter that provides shade.
 
When chatting to our Senior Veterinarian, Dr Susan Van Niekerk, she advised the following “Ensure your animals have a constant supply of water, especially as dogs do not have sweat glands and can only cool down by panting.” “Check your pets water bowls frequently and ensure the water is clean and fresh, and the bowl is placed in a shaded area.”
 
Dr Susan Van Niekerk also warned dog owners not to exercise their animals in the heat of the day. Should you wish to exercise your animals either take them early in the morning or late afternoon / early evening. “Keep an eye on your animals – if your dog pants excessively; becomes very lethargic or collapses – it could be suffering from heatstroke. Wet your animals and allow them to lay in a cool spot, dogs with flat noses, e.g. bull dogs, require extra care during the heat.

Should you go out during the day, do not leave your animals confined to a room that has full exposure to the sun, either leave them indoors with full access of the house or alternatively place them outside but ensure they have a shaded area to lie in. Dr Susan Van Niekerk has cautioned that corrugated metal will conduct the heat and become extremely hot and are therefore not suitable as shelters.
 
”Rabbits and other small pets kept outside in hutches should also always be kept in the shade”, said Dr Susan Van Niekerk. All caged animals – even if they are indoors – should not be left in direct sunlight.

There are a lot more flies during the summer, picking up your pets feaces daily is important – as they attract flies and cause larva eggs to be laid – this can result in worms and the spread of parasitic diseases which are transferable to humans.
  
The Animal Rescue Organisation is pleading with the public not to leave animals in cars. On hot days cars heat up extremely quickly and become like ovens and a pet could easily succumb to the effects of heat exposure, or even worse may die. 
 
If you come across an animal left in a car, try to locate the owner either through management at a shopping centre, or alternatively contact the nearest police station or animal organisation. 

For those of you living overseas, check out my blog on Winter Warming Tips.

I look forward to hearing from you all, feel free to post photos of you and your pets enjoying the holiday season!

Until next time,

Jess

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PETS ARE FOR LIFE, NOT FOR CHRISTMAS!

Bella, one of our ARO office cats!

Bella, one of our ARO office cats!

It’s the season of giving, and while we all want to give gifts that are special and meaningful to our loved ones, especially children, a pet is not a gift. Although pets are cute and offer unconditional love, they also require a lifetime commitment from you, the owner!

Many animals are handed in to shelters after the Christmas season is over. Many of these animals were given as gifts.  Do not dump unwanted pets.  Make a plan to reach a welfare shelter and sign the unwanted pet over correctly.

Having discussed the realities of giving an animal as a gift, there are many other ways to assist our four legged friends. The Animal Rescue Organisation encourages the public to donate money to our organisation in lieu of a Christmas gift or alternatively visit our online shop www.animalrescue.org.za and purchase your Christmas presents with us, that way you will be supporting the animals in our care.

For those who have researched and understand the commitments of caring for an animal, and still feel you would like to add a four legged companion to the Christmas celebrations, please visit a reputable welfare organisation and adopt one of the many animals in need of a good home.

If you are already a pet owner, myself and the Animal Rescue Organisation are appealing to owners to be vigilant and responsible during the celebrations.

Christmas trees and decorations add a touch of festivity and get everyone in the Christmas spirit, but for inquisitive pets its can be hazardous. Ensure the tree is secure and won’t topple over, put any electrical cables and lights out of reach.

Discard of any wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and carrier bags as your pets could easily get entangled and injure themselves.

Refrain from letting off firecrackers and be mindful when pulling Christmas crackers and popping champagne corks and balloons.

Provide a safe quiet environment for your pet to go to should the celebrations or rowdy visitors become too much.

Before sitting back and relaxing after a meal, ensure any leftovers are put away and are out of reach from your pet, turkey and chicken bones can splinter and become lodged in your pets throat or damage their intestine. Keep alcohol out of reach. Don’t be tempted to change your pets regular feeding habits, overfeeding or diet changes can cause digestive upsets.

Should you wish to spoil your pet, rather choose to purchase a toy or treats, that are provide by a reputable vet shop.

In the event, that your pet gets out of the property, ensure your pets has a means of identification.

Last but not least, when on your travels, NEVER leave your pets in the car, especially not during the hot summer months.

In closing, I wish all my fellow bloggers and followers a happy, healthy and safe festive season. May 2014 be a year of kindness and compassion to all animals.

Until next time,

Jess

Guy Fawkes – Animals Worst Nightmare

Dear Friends

It is that time of year again, when fireworks and celebrations mark the start of the ‘silly season’.

The Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO) is appealing to all Capetonians getting ready to celebrate Guy Fawkes, not to purchase or encourage the releasing of fireworks which can be harmful to animals and people, especially those that let off a bang.

The Animal Rescue Organisation is against the use of any fireworks which give off a loud noise due to the fear and trauma that they cause to animals.  An animal’s hearing is far more acute than that of ours enabling them to hear a wider range of sounds. With every firework let off an animal hears it at least seven times louder than that of humans. Their immediate reaction is to escape the noise often resulting in the animals causing severe injuries to themselves.

Harming an animal is illegal and will result in prosecution. Should you suspect an animal is in danger, members of the public are urged to contact the Metro Police 24 hour call centre to lodge complaints regarding illegal firework activities on 021 596 1999 or the SPCA Inspectorate on 083 362 1604.

Designated areas have been assigned for the release of fireworks, outlined below:

  • Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis
  • Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis
  • Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar
  • Swartklip Sports Complex, corner of Spine and Swartklip Roads, Mitchells Plain
  • Maidens Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
  • Athlone Stadium parking area (Eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone
  • Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein
  • Beachfront opposite Tourism Centre, Table View

Residents living in areas where fireworks will be let off are to please ensure they follow the below guidelines to ensure the safety of their animals:

  • Identification – ensure your pet has an identity disk with your contact details and if possible have your pets micro-chipped;
  • If possible stay at home with them;
  • If you are unable to stay at home, leave your pets inside, in a room that is safe and secure and draw the curtains – to prevent them from being frightened by pyrotechnics and to prevent them from jumping through the window
  • Drawing the curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume can drown the sound of the fireworks;
  • Place familiar and comforting objects around them, such as bedding, toys and blankets;
  • Give them something to keep them occupied – a chewy bone or catnip toys for cats;
  • Small animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, should be brought into a quiet room, garage or garden shed. Provide extra bedding so they have something to burrow into;
  • Cover aviaries, hutches and cages with blankets to block out the sights and sounds of fireworks, but make sure that you leave gaps for ventilation;
  • Livestock and horse owners must check that paddocks are well fenced and secure before the fireworks begin. Frightened farm animals that get out of their paddocks can harm themselves;
  • If you suspect or know your pet reacts badly towards fireworks, seek professional advice and help from your veterinarian who may prescribe a sedative to help ease the symptoms.  There are also a number of effective homeopathic remedies available at health shops and certain vet shops.

The potential injuries which pets and people can sustain from fireworks are horrendous and just not worth the cheap thrill that a small minority enjoy at the expense of the majority. Although we are hopeful of an incident free Guy Fawkes, we are prepared for the worst. Fireworks are potentially dangerous, a waste of money and ought to be banned.

Feel free to post your comments, I would love to hear your opinions and views.

Until next time,

Jess

Guy Fawkes 2013

SPRING HAS SPRUNG

With the stormy weather we have had over the past weekend, it seems “silly” to announce the arrival of spring – but it is officially spring and I am sure that we will all soon be wishing for the odd cooler day. Especially those that enjoy the outdoors as much as the dog walking fraternity do.

There is no excuse for not getting out and enjoying the fresh air, and if like me, you have pets that come rain or shine love the outdoors; they will be more than happy to accompany you.

Fortunately for us, Cape Town has plenty of great spots to walk your pets. Having asked supporters, colleagues and friends I have created the ARO Top 10 places to walk your dog guide:

  1. Tokai forest – dogs are allowed at the lower end of the forest and along Spaanschemat River Road
  2. Sea Point Promenade – dogs are permitted along the promenade but must be on a leash
  3. Kommetjie Lighthouse Boardwalk – Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie.  Must be under control at all times.
  4. Noordhoek Common – Noordhoek main road and Avondrust Road, Noordhoek. Same conditions as above.
  5. Fish Hoek Beach – dogs are permitted to run freely on certain parts of the beach.
  6. Silvermine Dam – Situated on Ou Kaapse Weg, dogs are allowed in specified areas. Keep on a lead.
  7. Constantia Green Belt – Alphen Drive (opposite Alphen Hotel), Constantia. As above.
  8. Rondebosch Common – Park Road and Campground Road, Rondebosch. Keep under control at all times.
  9. Keurboom Park – Keurboom Road, Rondebosch. As above.
  10. De Waal Park – Upper Orange Road, Gardens, Cape Town +27 (0)21 400 2521. Keep under control at all times.

If the weather (and other benefits) aren’t enough to persuade you, then consider doing your bit for a great cause and join the Animal Rescue Organisation on Sunday 29th September 2013 at the beautiful Nitida Wine Estate in Durbanville for their second Best Friends Dog Walk, for more information or to register online visit www.animalrescue.org.za.

I look forward to seeing both you and your beloved dogs at this year’s Best Friends Dog Walk which has been described as one of the most relaxed and enjoyable around.

Until next time

Jess

Training & Socialising your Pet

Working in the animal welfare sector and having acquired a new member to my ‘anifamily’, I felt it necessary to discuss the importance of training your pets and them being well socialised. The first year of your pets life, best described as their formative stage is paramount, what you do now to reinforce good behaviour, will positively affect your pet’s behaviour for life.

Our pets go through a series of developmental stages before becoming an adult, and just like children, require assistance and guidance to get there, hence the reason for my blog today.

From a young age (after having their first vaccinations), it is very important for your pet to develop social skills. It will assist them to respond positively to a variety of social situations, from meeting other pets in the park, to the way that they re-act to friends, family  – even strangers.

Early socialisation ensures your that pet will grow up to be a friendly and well behaved member of society! The following events and situations can assist your pet, especially a puppy with socialisation:

  • Have friends over to meet the puppy, include people of all ages, from children to adults. Be sure to supervise at all times.
  • Invite friendly, vaccinated dogs over for a play date, once your pet is comfortable with other animals, take him or her to visit them at their homes.
  • Take your pet to the park or beach and other environments where he or she will encounter crowds and bustling activity.
  • If practicable, take your pet for frequent trips in the car.
  • Introduce your puppy to foreign objects and sounds. e.g.: black bags, boxes, vacuum cleaners etc. When introducing loud sounds, start from a distance and gradually bring the sound closer
  • Train and accustom your puppy to walking on a lead or with a harness and be sure to use a comfortable collar.
  • When sitting with your puppy or kitten, inspect your pet, ensure they are comfortable with you clipping their nails, being brushed or bathed, check gums, teeth and ears to ensure your pets health.

The above list is only a guideline; feel free to introduce your pets to other situations and objects, which they will need to be comfortable around in your home. Remember safety first!

Most importantly, ensure your pet is comfortable at all times; never continue should your pet become frightened or distressed. DO NOT PUT IT OFF; starting from a young age is paramount to a happy and long future with your pet.

My new member, Jameson, is doing extremely well with his socialisation skills; here he is pictured with his new best friend, Zeena!

Until next time,

Jess & JamesonImage

PETS IN CAGES

A friend of mine recently received a hamster from her boyfriend, accompanied by a huge bouquet of red roses. “how adorable, it is the cutest gift ever!” However, over the years at ARO, we have come to see that this elated and warm fuzzy feeling is very much a temporary one and the novelty of owning this pet very quickly wears off.

2 – 3 months later, when the reality of cleaning, feeding and providing the hamster (or any other caged animal) with love and attention sets in, the pet very quickly becomes a nuisance and an escape route or alternate home is looked for.

All one needs to do is browse the likes of Gumtree, OLX, or other online classifieds and see the endless amount of ‘unwanted’ ‘free to a good home’ advertisements.

ARO encourages responsible pet care and prefers those who purchase caged pets to “see it through”, but we also realise that once the novelty has worn off, it is sometimes best to get the animal “out of there”…..

Many small caged pets have come to ARO like this.

Please educate both parents and friends about the responsibility of owning ANY pet before making the commitment.

Until next time,

Jess

ARO rescued rabbits - rabbits need space, do not place them in cages

ARO rescued rabbits – rabbits need space, do not place them in cages

The Ins and Outs of Pet Ownership

Although pets are cute and offer unconditional love, they require a lifetime of commitment from you, their owner!

Having recently acquired a new member to my ‘ani-family’ I am able to experience first-hand not only the responsibilities of owning a pet but the costs involved too.

While they say you can’t put a price on love, it is wise to know just how much love you can afford and whether your lifestyle is suited to owning a pet.

Before making the decision, consider the following:

  • Pets require attention and your time, if you live alone and work long hours, then perhaps pet ownership is not an ideal choice at this time. However, if like me, you work for an animal organisation, you can always enquire as to whether your furry companion can accompany you to work.
  •  Any pet you get should be suitable to your lifestyle and living arrangements. If you live in a flat, then a large or energetic breed is not a good choice. You don’t want your pet to become bored, as this can result in destructive behavior problems.
  • Puppies and kittens require the most amount of work when it comes to house training. If you don’t have the time or finances to properly train your pets or don’t want your expensive shoes chewed or lounge suite damaged; then consider adopting an already house trained, adult pet. There are literally thousands of adult shelter dogs and cats looking for a place to call home. Give them a second chance.
  • Owning a pet is a joy, but, as with everything else, there is quite a hefty price tag involved. Before adopting your pet, ask yourself, can I afford to keep a pet, as it is a long term commitment. Once you have considered the above, below are a few essential expenses you will need to budget for:
  • A suitable dog bed or basket, blanket, collar, identity tag, lead, food and water bowls
  • Pet food, treats, and tick and flea treatment (monthly expense)
  • Routine Veterinary checks and annual vaccinations
  • Sterilisation (usually done at 6 months)
  • Microchip
  • Socialisation training (optional)

If you adopt a breed of dog that is susceptible to medical conditions (hip dysplasia, spinal conditions, respiratory issues etc.) consider taking out a Pet Health Insurance – your veterinarian will be able to advise as to the various options available.

For those who have researched and understand the commitments of caring for an animal, and still feel you would like to add a four legged companion to your family, please visit a reputable welfare organisation and adopt one of the many animals in need of a good home. Alternatively, if you cannot adopt a pet at this current time, there are many ways to assist our needy four legged friends by supporting our online shop, fundraising events, via My School Card by making ARO a beneficiary, donating gifts in kind or cash – by doing any one of those things you will be supporting the many animals in or dependent on our care.

BUT, whatever you decide, have fun! Owning a pet is a privilege and will bring you endless years of joy!

Until next time

Jess and Jameson

IMG-20130629-01062 Cape Town-20130701-01071 Helping at work

Caring for your Pets in Winter

It’s that time of year again; a chill in the air and rainy afternoons, winter is on its way. The Winter weather affects us all, including our furry-four-legged-friends! Follow the Animal Rescue Organisations tips below and ensure that both you and your pet have a safe and warm winter.

  • Due to the wet and cold weather all pet owners must ensure that their animals have access to shelter and bedding, if possible allow them to sleep indoors.
  • Continue walking your animals; don’t stop because of the rain. Grab your wellies and rain coats and head out!
  • Don’t stop tick and flea control, although fleas are more present in summer they are still likely to be on your animal during the winter.
  • If your dog is kept outside during the winter, add an extra handful of food to their daily meals, because  of the cold they will be burning up more energy and extra food will help them with this.
  • If you have a puppy, do not put it outside in winter, because it is still young it has not built up resistance to the cold, keep it indoors in a heated environment.
  • Dogs with long coats can keep warm outdoors; however, if your dog has a short coat and is kept outside, put a sweater on your dog to keep it warm.
  • Don’t dip your dog in the cold, rather use an alternate product that does not involve the dog having to be drenched wet.
  • If you have a heater make sure that the wiring is safe and out of reach of your pet.
  • Make sure the kennel is waterproof, and move the kennel so that the entrance is not facing the weather, and ensure that the kennel is raised off the ground to prevent cold and damp conditions.

Be sure to visit our online shop http://www.animalrescue.org.za to purchase our great new winter merchandise, there is something for both you and your pet!

Until next time,

Jess

The Importance of Tick & Flea Treatment

It’s not unusual for neglected animals to arrive at either our Mobile Clinics or Veterinary Hospital infested with ticks and fleas and in urgent need of internal as well as external parasite control.  Treating animals for ticks and fleas is a vital part of responsible and caring pet ownership. Unfortunately, all too often pet owners are not properly educated about the correct products to use and procedures to follow.  This can have dire consequences.

‘Ballie’, a dog that was recently seen at our Manenberg Clinic is a perfect example. His owner had doused him with paraffin and then lathered oil all over his body. This resulted in the skin being burnt and badly inflamed. He was subsequently admitted to our hospital where he received treatment for his condition and had to be bathed several times to eliminate the paraffin and oil contamination.

Although this was not intentional cruelty, it caused ‘Ballie’ much avoidable pain and suffering.

His owner has since been taught how to safely and effectively control fleas and ticks on his dog. ‘Ballie’ is one of many sad cases that we see on a daily basis and his case serves to highlight the importance of educating pet owners on safe ways and means of taking proper care of their pets. It also highlights the vital role that Mobile Clinics perform within the communities.

TREATING AND PREVENTING TICKS AND FLEAS ON YOUR PETS

  • At the first sign of a flea, or before the first sign of a flea, apply a veterinary approved tick and/or flea treatment eg Capstar, Frontline, Revolution, Advantix, Advantage, Fiprotec and wait for the product to take effect. Most of the products last for about 4 to 6 weeks depending on the severity of the initial infestation.
  • Your pet is not the only source or host of ticks and fleas. Any eggs that were deposited in your carpets, bedding or around your garden, will hatch and become adults.  It is therefore important that you treat not only your pet but the bedding and sleeping area as well.
  • To ensure your pets and home are tick and flea free, it is vital that you repeat the above steps monthly. There is no “Silver Bullet” solution and a disciplined, holistic strategy is necessary.

Although ticks and fleas are more prevalent during summer, it is still necessary to provide tick and flea treatment during the winter months.

In conclusion, if you are struggling to curb the tick and flea infestation, please visit your veterinarian or nearest vet shop for professional advice and do not take matters into your own hands without professional guidance. Never use swimming pool chlorine (often called poor man’s Frontline), Jeyes Fluid, motor car oil or any other accelerant on your pet. It could have fatal consequences.

Until next time,

Jess