City of Joburg to amend bylaws for dogs and cats

City of Joburg to amend bylaws for dogs and cats - image

City of Joburg to amend bylaws for dogs and cats

Residents and organisations have until the end of September to respond to the proposed amendments.

The City of Joburg (CoJ) council has given residents and organisations 30 days to comment on suggested bylaw amendments relating to dogs and cats.

The bylaws relate specifically to dogs and cats in section 7(5) of the Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act 1998 and Section 12 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act no 32 of 2000.

According to the notice, there are five reasons why the amendments are important:

  1. Provide that owners of premises and corporate bodies must give written permission for dogs and cats to be kept on the premises;
  2. State certain provisions more clearly;
  3. Provide that notice be given to an owner or person in control of premises where a dog or cat is kept or taken into custody;
  4. Provide clearer directives on the destruction or sale of an animal by a pound master;
  5. Provide a duty for the owner to keep the premises clean and to care for the dogs and cats.

These amendments seek to regulate and enforce responsible pet ownership, making sure that pets are kept in good conditions and that they are indeed happy and thriving.

Residents and organisations have until September 28 to respond to the bylaws. They can submit written submissions to either [email protected] and/or [email protected] and/or [email protected]burg.org.za.

Current bylaws can be found on www.joburg.org.za.

Pet bylaws outline the specific legalities around owning a dog or a cat. They outline everything from how many dogs and cats are allowed on different types of properties, to what behaviour is prohibited and may not be displayed when owning a cat or a dog, the destruction of unclaimed pets, and sterilisation.

Source: The Citizen

UKZN will now allow lecturers a day off to mourn their pets

UKZN will now allow lecturers a day off to mourn their pets - image

The University of KwaZuluNatal (UKZN) has introduced a new pet-bereavement policy – allowing staff a day off to mourn a departed dog, cat or any other animal which was close to them.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, the policy – which applies to employees’ registered pets – came into effect in April 2018.

UKZN spokesperson Normah Zondo explained that for many university staff their pets were like family and this resonated with the leadership of the university.

Speaking to the paper, Librarian Ashika Pramlal said that she took pet-bereavement leave when her dog died in June. She had to plan his funeral and burial according to Hindu rites and mourn his loss.

Ishana Gangaram, an administration officer at the university, also took bereavement leave when her pet died in April.

While pet-bereavement and ‘pawternity’ leave (when pet owners adopt a new animal) is increasingly being offered in countries such as the US, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Finland – it is still a relatively new concept in South Africa.

As such, lawyer Jonathan Jones warned that the system may be open to abuse and that employers should know what they were getting themselves into.

“Employees could argue attachment to other types of pets such as rabbits, rats or birds or even cold-blooded pets such as reptiles, snakes or fish,” he said.

Source: BusinessTech

8 Ways to Be a More Earth-Friendly Pet Owner

Be a More Earth-Friendly Pet Owner - image

Yay for you! You’re ditching plastic straws like so many other people this year. Taking big steps to reduce your carbon footprint is great, but how are you helping your pet do the same?

There are easy, everyday things you and your cutie can do to help protect the planet. From choosing eco-friendly cat or dog toys to disposing of pet waste with Mother Nature in mind, read on for more ways to help your pet leave the Earth exactly how they sniffed, er, found it.

1. Recycle dog and cat food cans every time.
If you diligently recycle packaging from the stuff you buy for your home — such as delivery boxes, yogurt cups or plastic bottles — you should make the same effort for the packaging that comes with pet-food products. Wet food cans are easily recycled, and there is at least one company on the market making the effort to recycle those plastic dry food bags. Many companies also use post-consumer recycled content in their packaging, so do your research and select brands that are as eco-conscious as you are.

2. Get smart about poop disposal.
Plastic bags are so last decade — it’s time to stop using them for cleaning poop off the ground or scooping waste out of your cat’s litter box. Make a point to buy bags that are made from recycled materials or biodegradable so they won’t stick around forever. (It can take 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose, think about that.)

Confused by the selection at your pet store? Look for the words “biodegradable” and “compostable” on the box. If you’re a feline household, choose a kitty litter that is made from biodegradable ingredients, such as wheat, wood or corn. Biodegradable litter boxes, made of eco-friendly paper, are also a great option.

3. Reusable grocery bags aren’t just for the grocery store anymore!
When you hit the pet store, bring those bags with you. Find ones that you like, keep them in an easy-to-remember and convenient location, like your car or near your front door. Do this and your home will quickly become a plastic bag-free zone.

4. Donate pet products to animal shelters.
Before you toss that tattered leash in the trash, ask yourself, “How many more miles are left on this puppy?” If you’re simply ready for something new, then the answer is “lots and lots more!”

Gather any gently used or no longer coveted pet items — such as toys, beds or bowls — and donate them to an animal shelter. There are plenty of adoptable pets out there who will gladly take them for a spin as they wait for a forever home. Towels and blankets are also items that animals shelters are always in need of.

5. Spay or neuter your pets.
Bob Barker says it best: Help control the pet population — have your pets spayed or neutered. It sounds so simple, but many people still don’t do it. If you’re one of them, consider this: 6 million to 8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year, according to The Humane Society of the United States. Just think of all the waste that is produced caring for each and every one of them.

6. Take more walks with your pet.
When you need a few things from the corner store, opt for the leash instead of the car keys. Walks outside are beneficial to your health, that of your dog, and the health of our environment (less car emissions means more of our ozone layer!) If walking to your destination is out of the question, consider public transportation.

7. Buy or make eco-friendly toys or accessories.
It’s no secret that manufacturers are making products with our planet in mind, so look for pet items made from sustainable fabrics, stuffed with organic ingredients, or colored with vegetable dyes.

There are tons of creative options out there if you take the time to look for them — and all of them are way more green than tossing your dog an empty plastic bottle to chew. If you’re the crafty type, fashion a one-of-a-kind toy for that special fur kid in your life out of something you no longer need. Take a Pinterest deep dive for a slew of great DIY ideas for dogs and cats.

8. Use eco-friendly pet grooming and cleaning products.
Natural is always best! If you can avoid putting chemicals (that you probably can’t pronounce) into our ecosystem and onto your precious pet, that’s definitely a good thing. It’s easier than ever before to buy non-toxic pet products made with ingredients that are safe for animals, so make it your mission to go organic and pay attention to what’s inside those bottles you bring home.

Source: US Weekly

Organic Pet Food

Organic Pet Food - image

Nature appears to be leaving science in its wake as people increasingly place their faith in organic pet food made in a kitchen over those made in a laboratory. Just as we scrutinise the safety and origin of the foods we consume, don’t our four-legged friends deserve the same consideration?

What is ‘Organic’ Food?

Organic pet foods are free from any artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives or any contact with pesticides. Furthermore, they are prepared from meat and meat by-products that do not comprise antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic foods are made with minimal, if any, fillers and some are even enriched with antioxidants to promote your pet’s wellbeing. Animal sources used in the production of organic food must be allowed to live free range, thereby moving around freely outdoors.

Benefits of Organic Pet Food

  • Reduces Allergies and Ailments

Artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives, chemical additives and pesticides found in conventional pet food could be the root of all evil concerning your fur baby’s allergies. Allergies triggered by the diverse chemical additives in various pet foods and treats can result in allergic reactions that could range from mild to potentially critical. As organic pet foods don’t contain these abovementioned ingredients and are made from quality grain and protein sources, they stand to be especially nutritious, thereby strengthening your pet’s immune system, so it’s better fortified to fight infections and reduce their overall allergic responses.

  • Weight Control

You’re better able to control your pet’s weight by ensuring they get all the essential nutrients in one organic meal. They feel more satiated consuming smaller quantities of a higher quality meal that provides them with optimal energy and helps them keep those extra kilos at bay.

  • Reduces Digestive Issues

Organic food is far more palatable and digestive than conventional pet food because it doesn’t contain artificial ingredients, toxic chemicals and bulk fillers. Their digestive tract is better able to metabolise the superior forms of proteins and grains, thereby enabling your furry pal to eliminate less, with more predictability as well as more solid and less smelly excretions.

  • Improves Overall Health and Immunity

Because organic pet food is easier to digest than conventional pet food, your pet can efficiently absorb, rather than eliminate, the required nutrients, thereby supporting a healthy immune system to keep costly infections and illnesses at bay.

  • Empowers your pet to live their best life

Just like humans, what our pets eat has direct repercussions on what they look and feel like. Organic pet food empowers our four-legged family members to embrace a fuller, more energetic, healthier and happier life. With a healthy body weight, more energy to play, walk and run, along with a fortified immune system leading to reduced incidences of illness, an organic diet can extend their life expectancy and enhance your pet’s quality of life for years to follow.

Downsides to Organic Pet Food

  • The extent of how much healthier organic pet food is than high-quality commercial food is still inconclusive. Always consult with your veterinarian concerning your pet’s individual nutritional requirements.
  • Organic pet foods maybe challenging to source as only specialised pet stores or health shops may stock it.
  • Being relatively new to the market, you may struggle to find a suitable fit of organic food to suit your pet’s personal preferences.
  • Lastly, as with everything, there’s a cost consideration. Organic foods are heftier in price than commercial pet foods but some vow that the additional pennies spent are well worth it.

Assessing the Organic Pet Food Options

If the initial ingredients on the food packet read carbohydrates and fillers, you can be confident that the product content is highly processed and subsequently unhealthy. Also keep in mind that organic food doesn’t automatically equate to nutritionally healthy. Some organic foods are still high in sugar and contain other ingredients that may be difficult for your pet to digest so try to avoid these products. Despite all the health benefits, remember that organic treats do contain energy that may convert into weight gain and other health issues if given in excess, so moderation is key!

Specific qualities of food you should inspect prior to purchasing and feeding your furry loved-one:

  • Comparatively low cereal or grain content
  • Good balance of vitamins and nutrients
  • High meat content
  • Least amount of processed constituents
  • Label on the packet or tin informing you that the pet food concerned forms part of a complete diet

Always research the brands you purchase to check whether they have been accredited by a certification body and consult your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet. Visiting an organic brand’s website will also give you a clearer idea of what you and your pet can expect from them.

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

 

 

The most popular exotic pets are also most likely to be released in the wild

The most popular exotic pets are also most likely to be released in the wild - image

The green iguana is a common exotic pet that originates from Central and South America and has been released into the wild in the US.

Among pet snakes and lizards, the biggest-selling species are also the most likely to be released by their owners — and to potentially become invasive species, according to a Rutgers study published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

The study by Rutgers University-New Brunswick ecologists provides new clarity on how and why the exotic pet trade has become the primary venue by which reptiles and amphibians arrive in non-native lands, the first step to becoming ecologically damaging invaders.

The researchers documented 1,722 reptile and amphibian species in the U.S. exotic pet trade from 1999 to 2016. They compared the list with previous research and data from a citizen science project that records sightings in the U.S. of non-native species. They found that the most popular pets — those imported in high numbers and sold at low prices, usually when they’re small and cute — are the most likely to be dumped into the wild later on.

“The owners may underestimate the space and costs needed to keep such animals as they grow into adults. Boa constrictors and reticulated pythons grow over 8 feet long. African clawed frogs and Russian tortoises live 30 years or more,” said Oliver Stringham, study lead author and a Rutgers doctoral student. “Not wanting to euthanize, owners may resort to releasing them instead.”

Released exotic pets can harm native wildlife through predation, competition for food and disease transmission. A prime example is the Burmese python, which grows up to 18 feet long and has been invasive in Everglades National Park since the 1990s, causing severe declines in native mammals and birds.

The study suggests providing potential owners with information about the future growth and lifespan of an exotic pet, along with the ecological damage that can result from releasing them, and a list of safe places to surrender them, including shelters, rehoming initiatives and buy-back programs, to avoid future releases.

Julie Lockwood, study co-author and a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers-New Brunswick, said, “While it might not be possible to fully prevent the release of exotic pets, reducing the number can be an effective way to prevent new species from becoming established and potentially invasive.”

Source: Science Daily

Lady, Gerry and Peter: The latest on the incredible boys who saved their dog

Gerry and Peter - image

The story of Peter and Gerry has left South Africans filled with pride across the country. We take a look at how Lady and the boys are doing today.

Last week, an incredible act of selflessness from two young Cape Town boys went viral across the country. Peter and Gerry walked multiple kilometres barefoot to carry their neighbour’s dog to the Animal Welfare Society in Philippi. Due to tick bite fever, the dog was on death’s door and had stopped eating. Since then, all three superstars are doing fantastically.

An Animal Welfare tale: Peter, Gerry and Lady

When TheSouthAfrican first reported on the story, Lady (or Meisie, as the boys call her) had had a blood transfusion and was in a critical but stable condition. While tick bite fever (biliary) can be touch and go, the AWS has confirmed that the pooch looks set to make a full recovery.

 “MEISIE – Good as new! Our hospital team are happy to announce that Meisie is doing extremely well and on the road to recovery. She will stay in our care for another two weeks on treatment, but she is happy and getting spoilt,” AWS Communications Officer Allan Perrins said.
Meisie good as new - image 2

With Peter and Gerry being praised for their incredible act of kindness, people have desperately been putting forward plans to help the boys. The R7 they brought with them to save Lady was originally meant to buy Gerry a new pair of shoes. The family had recently lost almost all their possessions in a fire.

So far, efforts to help the kids have included groceries being bought for the family as well as plenty of toys and treats for Gerry and Peter. Multiple food parcels have been put together by cubs groups and specialised clothing has even been presented.

“I met up with Jacque and Eric at Animal Welfare Society of SA based in Philippi and proceeded to follow them to the where the boys live in the rural farm lands outside Schaapkraal. As we drove my eyes started welling up. It was so far…. These boys walked such a great distance, carrying a dog at most points, when most people can’t even complete a park run! They didn’t complain or say it was too hard. They stuck it out and brought the only money they had to save this dog’s life, ” Pet Prints said on their Facebook.

With so many South Africans still looking to help, remember that you can get in touch with the Animal Welfare Society at [email protected] . While you might have to wait a while for your reply, the organisation can help you coordinate your plan to help Lady or the family.

Source: The South African

Celebrate your love for animals on Furry Friday

FURRY FRIDAY is on the 28th September in celebration of International Animal Week 4th – 12th October 2018.

We’re calling on all animal lovers to show their support on Furry Friday by helping raise awareness for animals in distress across Cape Town.

Here are a few ideas for how you can get involved:

  • To take part, purchase your SPCA branded ribbon from us for R20.00 and invite your colleagues to purchase theirs as well. We can provide these to you ahead of time – just let us know the quantities by replying to this email or call 021 700 4181.
  • Get your colleagues and friends to wear an animal print item of clothing in recognition of International Animal Week and to celebrate their love of all animals, scaly, furry or feathered.
  • Have an in-house interdepartmental best dressed challenge or get creative and have a growling, howling, barking mad competition.
  • Send us your photos / videos of your #FurryFriday event so that we can share them online.

We hope that we can count on your participation this year as the awareness and income raised from this initiative over the last couple of years has increased considerably. Furry Friday has become an invaluable source of income to our society which enables us to provide essential services to communities and to help animals in distress.

With thanks   
Lucille Boonzaier
Education Officer

Source: SPCA

 

Montego expands Eastern Cape pet food factory

Local pet food manufacturer Montego Pet Nutrition increased production at its Graaff-Reinet facility, in the Eastern Cape, by 30%.

The R70-million expansion, which will also create 30 more direct jobs, included a new 3 600 m2, R15-million depot, divided equally for use as a warehouse and treats production facility.

A complete line to produce extruded semi-moist pet treats has also been installed to expand the company’s treat range.

Its current production can feed the equivalent of about 715 000 adult Jack Russells every day.

The company currently distributes to nearly 2 000 stores across 16 countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates.

The expansion of the factory’s existing dryer unit boosted production output by as much as 2 000 kg/h. The new coating system with vacuum-coater optimises the production process, allowing for the dosing of six liquids (a blend of fats, oils and digestives) and two powders simultaneously, resulting in more accurate dosing and consistent processes for quality purposes.

“Nearly a third of the factory equipment has also been upgraded with world-class machinery, including new product conveying and screening equipment to enhance efficiency in the production process,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The factory also features four stainless steel liquid storage tanks that are temperature controlled and heat insulated, as well as upgraded cooler and storage bins for the safe storing of the final product.

“The upgrades to boost our production efficiency, were necessary for us to meet local and international demand and will allow us to grow our distribution range in existing and new markets. The aim of the developments is to grow our operations sustainably and responsibly,” says Montego Pet Nutrition marketing manager Wilfred Cawood.

An 8 kW three-phase solar system to run the new office block has also been installed. Montego is also in the process of building its own 500 kVA solar plant, which will be capable of powering 30% of the factory’s daytime electricity use.

“We have experienced double-figure growth year-on-year since we opened in early 2000,” concluded Cawood.

Source: Engineering News

9 ways to rehome your pet

As much as we’d love to live in a world where all pets, adopted or bought, are loved and cared for until their final days – as should be the intention when deciding to care for a pet – the unfortunate reality is that there are instances where pets need to be rehomed, whether it be out of sheer necessity or sheer inconvenience. 

With so many unwanted animals bursting out of shelters already, rehoming really should be a last resort. Issues such as behavioural problems can often be rectified with medical intervention of through behaviour modification in consultation with an accredited animal behaviourist. 

The cost of expensive medical attention may be reduced through the use of rescue medical facilities. Allergies can often be managed with medication or careful cleaning and restriction of pet’s access within the home. Consider and investigate thoroughly any and all possible solutions before making the difficult decision to rehome.

When rehoming truly is the only solution, the below tips may make the transition as kind as possible:

Contact

Start by contacting the person or organisation where you adopted or bought the pet from. Often, they may prefer to get involved in rehoming to ensure the correct checks are done.

Connect

Connect with family and friends in case they are willing to take over caring for your pet. Do home checks to ensure that all of their needs will be met. Networking and time are key but advertising that a pet is “free to a good home” is not advisable as your pet may end up in an unsavoury situation, especially if you do not do the necessary background investigations.

Limit stress

If possible, keep your pet in your home until a new owner can be found to limit the stress of multiple new environments.

Routine care

Do all you can to get your pet up to date with routine care (such as tick and flea control, annual veterinary checkups etc.) to limit the burden on a new owner.

Assistance

Make contact with local vets and rescue groups to find out if they can assist you in rehoming your pet or have the space to take your pet in. Rescue facilities are extremely busy and often have limited or no space, so please do not just show up on their door or worse yet, just drop the pet off unplanned or unannounced.

Network

Network with other pet-related professions and persons, such as trainers and pet lovers, as they may know of someone looking to adopt

Honesty helps

Be honest about the reasons for rehoming a pet. If it purely a case of no longer wanting the pet, say so. Creating false reasons will reduce the likelihood of finding a new home for your pet or not disclosing issues will increase the likelihood of an unsuccessful match being made.

Personality

Be clear and truthful about your pet’s personality and individual needs to maximize the chances of finding them the right home. If, for example, your dog does not do well with children, be upfront with the information so that he is not rehomed with young kids.

Take precautions

Remember that rehoming a pet will be stressful for you and even more so for the pet. Every precaution and measure that you can take to make the change as stress-free as possible will assist in the transition.

Source: IOL