TEARS Animal Rescue – TEARS announces ‘R20 to change the world’ campaign in celebration of GivingTuesday


TEARS Animal Rescue – TEARS announces ‘R20 to change the world’ campaign in celebration of GivingTuesday

TEARS is joining millions of non-profits around the world in the global generosity movement, GivingTuesday, on November 28, 2023 by inviting its followers and supporters to each donate R20 in an attempt to raise a million Rand to meet the organisation’s fundraising shortfalls.

This is the first time TEARS has aligned a fundraising campaign to GivingTuesday, and hopes to generate a groundswell of support from Capetonians by inspiring individuals to donate R20 on November 28, 2023 and provide vital funding to support the TEARS Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Clinic teams, and the TEARS Kennel and Cattery, which collectively rehabilitate and rehome nearly 1000 rescue pets, annually.


Says TEARS Head of Marketing and Fundraising, Lara Van Rensburg,  “While most people think of TEARS as a Kennel and Cattery by far the most critical part of TEARS, and the beating heart of its’ outreach and animal welfare operation, are the TEARS Mobile Clinic and TEARS Veterinary Hospital which rescue up to 100 animals every month.”

Based on its most critical outputs which include veterinary outreach, rescue, and treatment support to homeless, abused, injured and sick companion animals TEARS is hoping to raise R1,2M as part of its fundraising budget for this fiscal. The organisation relies 100% on donations and spends approximately R8,000,000.00 – R10,000,000.00 on veterinary treatment and community outreach per annum; and approximately R 600,000.00 per month to operate the TEARS Hospital and Mobile Clinics and provide the welfare and rescue services that it does across the Southern Cape Peninsula.


The TEARS Veterinary Hospital, which is open seven days per week, is headed up by Dr Tania Hauer and includes nine support staff. It operates between 8am and 4.30pm daily, with the TEARS Mobile Clinics continuing to operate until 9pm daily ~ offering the only companion animal welfare healthcare after-hour service in the Southern Peninsula. The TEARS Veterinary Hospital  includes a second surgery and a dedicated cat Ward and processes an average of 50-60 patients per day, which include sterilisations, scheduled and emergency surgeries and a variety of assessments and tests that range from blood work, X-rays and ultra-sounds.

We’re optimistic that we can set a record for the most amount of money donated to a Cape Town based animal rescue charity on any previous GivingTuesday. If each one of our social media followers pledges support for this campaign we’ll raise in excess of R1M, which will powerfully demonstrate how each person’s “small change”  can make a big collective difference,” concludes Van Rensburg.

Tears Tears Tears

GivingTuesday was launched in 2012 as a simple idea: to create a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eleven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

“GivingTuesday inspires people all around the world to embrace their power to drive progress around the causes they care about, not just on one day but throughout the year,” comments Asha Curran, GivingTuesday’s Chief Executive Officer. “With country and community leaders, millions of organisations, and countless givers of all kinds, GivingTuesday is creating a shared space where we can see the radical implications of a more generous world.”  

Tears Tears

Those who are interested in joining TEARS’ R20 to Change the World” GivingTuesday initiative can visit www.tears.org.za/givingtuesday and donate via SnapScan or Zapper, using GivingTuesday as a reference. EFT donations can also be made via the TEARS bank account:

  • Acc Name: TEARS
  • Bank: Standard Bank
  • Current Bank Account: 072062886 / Branch No: 051001

Donations to TEARS are tax deductible, with donors receiving a Section 18A tax receipt.


For more details about the GivingTuesday movement, visit the GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow @GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesday on Twitter.

Source: TEARS Animal Rescue

Dive into Water Safety for Pets


Image by pixabay

Dive into Water Safety for Pets

Keeping your pets safe in the pool and around other water sources.

Swimming is a great exercise for dogs, especially those with conditions like arthritis, and it is a great way to cool off during long summer days, but thousands of dogs and pets drown every year and that can be prevented.

Water, in its many forms, can be an enticing and refreshing element that both humans and their animal companions often find irresistible. Yet, as with any element, water can present its own set of risks and challenges, especially for our beloved pets.

Understanding the principles of keeping your pets safe in aquatic environments is essential for responsible pet ownership. In this article, we will explore the significance of water safety for pets, its potential hazards, and the measures you can take to ensure the well-being and enjoyment of your animal companions in and around water.


Image by Dr. Karen Becker


Water safety for pets is of paramount importance for several compelling reasons:

  • Drowning Prevention – Just like humans, pets can drown in bodies of water. Whether it’s a swimming pool, a pond, a lake, or the ocean, it only takes a moment for an unsupervised pet to find themselves in a life-threatening situation. Proper water safety measures can prevent tragic accidents.
  • Waterborne Hazard – Bodies of water can contain various hazards for pets, including strong currents, toxic algae, sharp debris, or even dangerous wildlife. Training and safety precautions help protect your pet from these potential dangers.
  • Health and Hygiene – While swimming is an excellent form of exercise for many dogs, it’s important to ensure that they have access to clean and safe water. Stagnant or contaminated water can lead to health issues for your pet, such as infections or exposure to harmful bacteria.
  • Comfort and Enjoyment – When pets are comfortable around water and know how to swim safely, they can enjoy aquatic activities, which can be a source of pleasure and mental stimulation. It can enhance their overall quality of life and provide them with a fun and enriching experience.
  • Emergency Preparedness – In the event of an accidental fall into the water, your pet’s ability to stay calm and swim safely can make the difference between life and death. Basic water safety training ensures they know how to handle such situations and potentially save their own life.
  • Travel and Adventures – If you love to travel with your pet, you’re likely to encounter different water-related scenarios. Whether it’s boating, camping near water, or beach vacations, teaching your pet water safety ensures they can join you on these adventures without undue risk.
  • Strengthening the Bond – Training your pet in water safety fosters a deeper connection between you and your furry friend. It’s an opportunity to work together and build trust, which can enhance your relationship.

Image shared by The Paw Company


Breeds with water-resistant coats and webbing between their toes are typically strong swimmers. Some dog breeds that tend to love the water include Newfoundlands, standard poodles, the Portuguese water dog, and Labrador retrievers.

  • Look at their physique – Brachycephalic breeds and other short-muzzled dogs, top-heavy breeds, and those with short legs, including bulldogs, pugs, Dachshunds, and boxers, generally have difficulty staying afloat.
  • Size – Small breeds may also need assistance in the water, as they get easily chilled and some are frightened of the water. 
  • Age – Puppies and elderly dogs may also need extra help in the water.


Some dogs are naturally good swimmers, while others need extra help to stay afloat.  Your dog may take to the water instantly, or it could take several days of practice for your dog to swim. Be patient!

If your dog is a puppy, exposing them to water between the ages of 6 to 16 weeks can help them to get used to it and develop positive associations with being in the water.

Teaching your dog to swim is a multi-step process that should start slowly and gradually build up to spending more time in the water, going at a pace that your dog feels safe. 

  • Plan to accompany your dog in the water when teaching them to swim. 
  • With all pets start in a few inches of water just getting their feet wet, then slowly move to deeper water. Never force an animal into water and always look out for signs of anxiety or stress.
  • When your dog starts swimming, support them under their midsection until they are confident and using all four limbs to swim.

Help your dog become a lifelong water lover by introducing them to water at a pace they’re comfortable with, safely building confidence and trust.  


Image by Pexels.com


Dr. Judy Morgan gives the following advice when choosing a spot to swim:

  • Swimming pools are best as they can be monitored, but some dogs also enjoy a dip in the sea or a stream.
  • Avoid fast-flowing water, flooded rivers, reservoirs and canals.
  • Watch out for any obstructions like fallen trees or branches that your dog could get caught on.
  • Larger bodies of water may have designated swimming spots and warning signs, so pay attention to these.
  • Ensure that you can guide them out of the water at a spot you can reach on foot to avoid stranding your pet.

Chlorinated water does carry certain risks, as do the disinfection byproducts that form when organic materials mix with chlorinated water. As a general rule, if you can make your outdoor pool relatively non-toxic, the benefits of allowing your pet to exercise in the water far outweigh the risks. An alternative to chlorine is to perform frequent maintenance shock treatments to kill algae.

AERCMN shares more about lake and beach dangers:

  1. Parasites and bacteria 
  2. Swimming safety 
  3. Water intoxication  
  4. Salt water 
  5. Seaweed 
  6. Sand impaction 
  7. Hot surfaces 
  8. Picnic foods & foreign bodies 
  9. Fishing hooks 
  10. Sun protection 
  11. Heat and dehydration 


  • Never assume all pets or all dogs can swim!
  • Supervision is crucial, so keep an eye on your dog and call them back if they swim too far out.
  • Don’t let your dog drink the salt water of the ocean or stagnant water in nature. Bring plenty of fresh, cool water for your dog to drink during swimming sessions. Keep a close eye to be sure they’re not consuming too much of the pool, ocean, or lake water. Water intoxication is a danger that may be associated with swimming when dogs are swallowing large amounts of water. Symptoms include loss of coordination, lethargy, bloating, vomiting, glazed eyes, excessive salivation, difficulty breathing, seizures, coma, and death. If you notice your dog is gulping water, insist on taking a break from swimming and water play.
  • Some dogs may never be confident swimmers and will always need a doggy life jacket on when around the water.
  • While your dog is learning to swim, you can attach a leash or long line to the life jacket (or to a harness) so you can pull your dog in if he gets distracted or cannot reach the shore on his own.
  • Attach an alarm or emergency light to them in case they fall into a dangerous area of the water on hikes.
  • Swimming is hard work, so be aware that your dog may tire quickly. Avoid having him swim out too far.
  • If you have a backyard pool, install a ramp that your dog can use for an exit, and teach your pet to use it. Also, be sure to keep the pool area fenced and covered so your dog cannot fall in accidentally or jump in without supervision.
  • Use animal-safe sunscreen for breeds who are prone to sunburn.
  • When your dog is done swimming, give them a rinse with fresh water to remove chlorine, salt, bacteria, and other contaminants from their fur.
  • Make sure you clean and dry their ears after a swim and remove wet collars to prevent hot spots.
  • Look out for the signs of heat stroke and provide cool shade areas.
  • Learn pet CPR for an emergency and save the emergency services number for the area you plan to visit.
  • Check with your veterinarian before swimming if your pet has special needs or certain health risks.

If you intend to take your dog on the boat with you, I recommend reviewing AERCMN’s 10 safety tips for boating with dogs.  If you have a pool, read more about the dangers it presents and how to prevent them.


Image by Unsplash.com

In conclusion, water safety for pets is not just a matter of precaution; it’s an essential aspect of responsible pet ownership. The allure of water, combined with the curious nature of our animal companions, can lead to situations that demand our vigilance and care. By understanding the potential hazards and implementing the right safety measures, we can create an environment in which our pets can enjoy the water safely.

From the training and preparation needed for water-related activities to the importance of proper supervision and the value of life-saving equipment, we’ve explored some of the key elements of ensuring your pets are protected in and around water. Whether it’s a poolside playdate, a beach excursion, or a lakeside adventure, these guidelines are indispensable.

As you venture into the world of water safety for your pets, remember that preparation and vigilance are the keys to protecting their lives, well-being, and health. It ensures they can enjoy water-related activities safely and leads to a more fulfilling and enjoyable life for both you and your cherished animal companion.


Source: The Bulletin

Unlock Optimal Parrot Health!



Unlock Optimal Parrot Health!

Vitamins and Minerals in Nature’s Nest Pellets: The Cornerstone of Parrot Nutrition

Your parrot’s well-being hinges upon the nutrition it receives. The diet you provide plays a pivotal role in determining its overall health and happiness. Nature’s Nest understands this critical aspect of…

Your parrot’s well-being hinges upon the nutrition it receives. The diet you provide plays a pivotal role in determining its overall health and happiness. Nature’s Nest understands this critical aspect of parrot care, offering balanced pellets fortified with essential vitamins, trace elements, and additives. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into why incorporating Nature’s Nest pellets is vital, the benefits of these essential nutrients, and why it’s crucial for parrot owners to be well-informed consumers when selecting food for their avian companions.

Nature’s Nest Pellets: The Cornerstone of Parrot Nutrition

  • Comprehensive Nutrient Profile:
    • Nature’s Nest pellets are meticulously formulated to provide a complete and balanced nutrient profile that meets your parrot’s specific dietary needs.
    • These pellets are crafted by experts to ensure that your bird receives all the necessary vitamins, trace elements, and additives.
  • Consistency and Convenience:
    • Nature’s Nest pellets offer consistency in terms of nutritional content, reducing the risk of nutrient deficiencies or excesses often associated with seed-based diets.
    • They are convenient to serve, ensuring that your parrot receives a uniform diet every day.
  • Boosted Immunity with Optimal Ratios:
    • The vitamins and minerals in Nature’s Nest pellets are mixed in the correct ratio to enhance your parrot’s immune system.
    • This balanced blend fortifies your bird, making it better equipped to fend off illnesses and stay healthier overall.

The Benefits of Essential Nutrients that are included in our food products:


  • Vitamin A:
    • Vision: Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining good eyesight in birds, helping them to see and navigate their environment.
    • Skin and Feathers: It also plays a role in maintaining healthy skin and vibrant feathers.
  •  Vitamin D3:
    • Calcium Absorption: Vitamin D3 aids in the absorption of calcium, which is vital for strong bones and eggshell formation in breeding birds.
  • Vitamin E:
    • Antioxidant: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
    • Immune System: It also supports the immune system, helping your parrot stay healthy and resistant to diseases.
  • Vitamin K3:
    • Blood Clotting: Vitamin K3 is essential for blood clotting, preventing excessive bleeding in case of injury.
  • B Vitamins (B1, B2, PP, B5, B6, B9, H, B12):
    • Energy Metabolism: These B vitamins are involved in energy metabolism, ensuring that your bird has the energy needed for daily activities.
    • Nervous System: They also play a vital role in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
  • Vitamin C:
    • Immune Support: Vitamin C enhances the immune system and helps birds fight off infections.
    • Collagen Production: It is also essential for collagen production, which is crucial for healthy skin, feathers, and beak.
  • Choline:
    • Brain Function: Choline is necessary for proper brain function and memory in birds.



Trace and Macro Elements:

  • Ferrous (Iron):
    • Hemoglobin Production: Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.
    • Enzyme Function: It is also involved in various enzymatic processes.
  • Copper:
    • Pigment Formation: Copper contributes to the formation of feathers’ vibrant colors.
    • Enzyme Activation: It plays a role in activating enzymes involved in energy metabolism.
  • Manganese:
    • Bone Health: Manganese is crucial for bone development and maintenance.
  • Zinc:
    • Immune System: Zinc supports the immune system and aids in wound healing.
    • Skin and Feathers: It helps in the formation of keratin, a protein found in feathers, beak, and skin.
  • Iodine:
    • Thyroid Function: Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, regulating metabolism.
  • Cobalt:
    • Vitamin B12 Synthesis: Cobalt is required for the synthesis of vitamin B12, which is crucial for energy metabolism.
  • Selenium:
    • Antioxidant: Selenium acts as an antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage.
Making Informed Choices: A Responsibility for Parrot Owners

  • Check Product Ingredients:
    • When choosing parrot food, look for Nature’s Nest pellets, which carefully list these specific vitamins and trace elements, ensuring a nutritionally complete diet.
  • Avoid Artificial Additives:
    • Nature’s Nest pellets contain only natural ingredients, free from artificial additives, colors, or preservatives.
  • Research Brands:
    • Trust in Nature’s Nest, a brand dedicated to parrot health and well-being, with the backing of expert avian nutritionists.
  • Tailor Diet to Species:
    • Understand that different parrot species may have varying dietary requirements.
    • Consult with a veterinarian or avian specialist to ensure you are meeting the specific needs of your parrot’s species.
  • Educate Yourself:
    • Take the time to educate yourself about parrot nutrition and health.
    • Stay updated on the latest research and guidelines to provide the best possible care for your feathered friend.


Incorporating Nature’s Nest pellets with the correct vitamins, trace elements, and additives into your parrot’s diet is a fundamental step in ensuring its health and longevity. Moreover, as responsible parrot owners, it is crucial to be discerning consumers, carefully evaluating product ingredients and educating ourselves about the unique dietary needs of our avian companions. By choosing Nature’s Nest and taking these steps, we can provide our parrots with the best nutrition and care, leading to happy, vibrant, and healthy feathered friends.




Preparing your pets for the holidays: A guide to stress-free celebrations


Preparing your pets for the holidays: A guide to stress-free celebrations

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness for families, including our pets. Whether you’re planning to bring your pets along for the festivities or entrusting them to a kennel, cattery or pet sitter while you’re away, it’s crucial to take steps to ensure their well-being and comfort during this potentially stressful time.

All these uncertainties such as new surroundings, a change in environment and possible house guests, plus upcoming loud events such as New Year’s Eve, can cause your pets to become extremely anxious, cautions Marycke Ackhurst, pet behaviour expert from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

“If you already know your pet is easily spooked, it’s important to be informed of what you can do to relieve the stress they may feel – even something as benign to us, such as rearranging furniture, can stress out an anxious pet.” It’s also important to note that dogs and cats’ hearing is far sharper, and much more sensitive than ours so, even if there is loud noise quite a fair distance from your home, it could still trigger an anxious reaction.

Ackhurst recommends that pet parents look out for the following signs of anxious behaviour:


  • Nose or lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Excessive panting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Tail lowered or tucked
  • Ears pinned back
  • Cowering
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Increased vocalisations e.g., whining, howling, barking
  • Excessive attention seeking


  • Urinating in strange places
  • Scratching compulsively
  • Hiding away
  • Panicked meows or recurrent whining
  • Aggression
  • Sleeping more
  • Decreased appetite

To help your pets during this potentially stressful time, Ackhurst suggests the following:


  • Keep familiar noises or sounds playing in the house such as the TV and some background music. The more it seems like an everyday, normal situation, the better.
  • Create a comfortable, smaller, space in the house for your pet to retreat to when they’re feeling anxious. As a distraction from any loud noises, provide them with a tasty chew toy.
  • Keep outside noises and bright lights at bay by closing the windows, doors and curtains at home.
  • For outdoor cats who come and go as they please, rather place a litter tray inside and close the doors and the cat flap, so they can’t go outside that evening.
  • If you can’t stay at home with your pets, make sure someone else they trust is there to calm and reassure them – the less changes during this time, the better.
  • If you’re dropping your pet off at the kennel or cattery for the holidays, make sure they have little pieces of home with them such as their bed, favourite chew toy and blankie. This way the change of environment won’t be as dramatic and stressful for them. You could also consider using dog and cat specific pheromone diffusers, collars and/or sprays to help them feel less anxious.
  • Ask your veterinarian about specially formulated foods which help alleviate stress such as *Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Stress for dogs and *Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Stress for cats. For severe cases, they may recommend certain medication.

*If you’re anticipating a stressful event, such as fireworks or even holiday kennels, it’s recommended you transition your pet onto a stress-reducing food four weeks beforehand. However, many pet parents have reported positive results as early as a few days. If your pet is a nervous type, you can consider this food for long term feeding.

Source: Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Adorable hedgehog gives birth to six tiny hoglets!


Adorable hedgehog gives birth to six tiny hoglets!

Did you know that the hedgehog is indigenous to southern Africa? While this adorable creature is often synonymous with the United Kingdom, these prickly critters can be found roaming within our borders too! 

There are countless organisations out there that go above and beyond when it comes to helping animals. Cape Town’s own Animal Welfare Society (AWS) is one such organisation, helping animals from far and near. However, it’s the stellar work that Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital recently provided that has us giving a standing ovation. 

According to the animal hospital, a Southern African hedgehog was found in a residential garden and was brought to the organisation for relocation. But a few tiny surprises were waiting for staff. 

“Unbeknownst to all of us, this hedgehog was pregnant and gave birth to SIX hedgehoglets just before arriving at our hospital! All hedgehog family members were weighed and carefully checked for any injuries,” they shared in a Facebook post. 

While mom and babies are doing well, the organisation called on the public to help out with some munchies. 

“Please help us keep mom hedgehog full and healthy for her babies! Currently, she is devouring large amounts of insects in order to provide enough milk for six babies. She currently favours superworms and mealworms!”

If you’d like to donate and help out this adorable critter, head to the silkworm website here.


Source: Cape Town etc

Squeaky Toys – Why the Craze?

Squeaky Toys

Image: Pixabay

Squeaky Toys – Why the Craze?

Ever wonder why your dog goes crazy with excitement when they hear that squeak escape their favourite toy?

Well, the answer is quite simple – dogs are hunters, and the squeak itself simulates the cry of prey. That high pitched sound that sometimes irritates our own human ears, and or ripping apart a plush toy releases a happy hormone in your dog’s brain, it is immensely satisfying to them for some dogs. The sound itself triggers an immense and immediate gratifying auditory reward.

We often hear owners say they can’t understand why their dogs destroy their plush beds and toys, that they don’t know how to stop the naughty behavior. But this isn’t naughty behavior at all. It is natural.

Studies have shown that certain sounds like those of a squeaky toy, makes trigger reward centers in the brain release the feel-good chemical, dopamine. Pretty much like a runner’s high, or that great feeling after a hard gym session. Dopamine being released gives your dog instant gratification and encourages them to keep coming back for more.

It stands to reason that dogs enjoy squeaky toys because it’s fun to bite down and get an interesting sound. Dogs engage in behaviors that are reinforced or rewarded, which is why we repeat “fun” things with them.

However, dogs are individuals, and even dogs within the same breed will have preferences due to personality differences.

Some dogs prefer harder toys that feel good to chew on, others prefer toys like balls or something they can fetch when thrown.

No matter the preference, the reason and outcome remain exactly the same – it makes them feel really happy.

Source: English & French Bulldog Rescue SA – November 2023 Newsletter

Epilepsy or seizure – What should you do?


Stomach Twisting in Dogs - What to look out for

Epilepsy or seizure – What should you do?

Many bulldog owners are familiar with Idiopathic head tremors, and while many new bulldog owners or bulldog owners who experience it for the first time, often get a big fright when it happens, these tremors are not actually seizures.

Idiopathic head tremors and seizures are two distinct medical conditions that affect the nervous system. While both conditions can cause involuntary movements, they differ in their underlying causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which can result in a wide range of symptoms such as temporary confusion, changes in behavior, staring spells, uncontrollable jerking movements of the legs and arms, frothing from the mouth, loss of consciousness or awareness, and more. Seizures are indicative of an underlying neurological problem and can be brief or long-term.

However, idiopathic head tremors are characterized by involuntary shaking of the head that typically lasts for 1-3 minutes. The primary differential for idiopathic head tremors is focal seizure activity. However, the absence of autonomic signs, ability to stop the tremor by providing a distraction, and the lack of response to conventional anti-epileptic medications argue against seizure activity.

In summary, while both idiopathic head tremors and seizures involve involuntary movements, they differ in their underlying causes and symptoms.

But where does Epilepsy fit in? and when should your dog be placed on epilepsy medication? Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and causes recurring seizures without a known cause. It is estimated to affect approximately 0.75% of dogs. A seizure is caused by excessive electrical activity in the cortex of the brain. In dogs with epilepsy, the brain will appear structurally normal, but it functions abnormally.

Symptoms of epilepsy in dogs include sudden and uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity in the brain, which can cause seizures. Seizures can last from less than a minute to several minutes and can look like a twitch or uncontrollable shaking. Other symptoms include excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth, frenzied barking or whining, head shaking, incontinence (loss of normal bowel/urinary control), and irregular seizure patterns.

Epilepsy Epilepsy

If you suspect that your dog has epilepsy, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic tests such as blood tests, urinalysis, and imaging studies to rule out other causes of seizures. Treatment for epilepsy in dogs typically involves medication to control seizures.


Seeing your dog have any kind of seizure can be extremely stressful and emotional. However, it is important to try and stay calm. The calmer you are the less stressful it will be on your dog. Move all sharp objects or anything that can hurt your dog out of the way, so they can’t involuntarily bump into anything. A clear space is a safe space.

While some may disagree, it is believed that talking to your dog in a soft calm voice and letting them know you are near, helps them to relax and overcome the seizure activity quicker. It is comforting for them to know they are not alone while experiencing this very confusing moment.

Avoid touching your dog’s face and head. Keep your hands and fingers clear of your dog’s mouth. The involuntary movements may result in your dog nipping you if your hands are inside his mouth. Dogs also can not swallow their own tongue, so there is no need to try and prevent that from happening.

The most important part is to time the seizures. There are amazing apps you can download if your dog has regular seizures to track how often they happen and for how long the seizures last. Knowing this information is of great assistance to your vet. If your dog has been diagnosed with Epilepsy, doing this will help determine if the medication is making a difference at all.

Just try and remember, the calmer you are, the better you will be able to remember and execute these important steps.

Source: English & French Bulldog Rescue SA – November 2023 Newsletter

Pet safety during firework season


Image by The Paw Company

Pet safety during firework season

Preparing your pets for firework silly season

Guy Fawkes, Diwali, and even New Year’s Eve are quickly approaching, and unfortunately, fireworks are a common part of these celebrations. For pet owners, these holidays and occasions can be a source of anxiety, as the sound of fireworks often sends both domestic and wild animals into a state of panic or paralyzing fear.

The fear of fireworks, as well as storms, is a significant health concern for animals. Firework and storm phobias can cause extreme anxiety and discomfort, affecting not only our beloved pets but also their human family members who often feel helpless in alleviating their furry friends’ distress. Moreover, individuals with disabilities, war veterans, and those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also be profoundly impacted by the noise and disruptions caused by fireworks.

The problem with fireworks:

  • Some studies suggest that 50% of cats and dogs suffer from firework stress and show that in phobic dogs, plasma cortisol (stress hormone) levels can jump over 200 percent from exposure to just an audio recording of a storm.
  • Many animals desperately try to get out and even become disorientated when fireworks are set off.  Sometimes they can’t find their way back home again or some hurt themselves trying to get over fences and through palisades. 
  • Some wildlife like birds and squirrels can abandon their young in a panic. 
  • Fireworks pollute the air and land! Some waterbirds and fish die when they eat firework debris. 
  • Fireworks can cause wildfires which can also lead to suffering and death for animals.
  • The hearing of many animals, especially cats and dogs are more sensitive than it is in humans, so the explosions of fireworks are not only disturbing and frightening, but it can also damage their hearing. They can hear sounds as much as 5 to 10 times louder than humans.
  • The day and even week after such an event the animal welfare organisations and shelters are flooded with stray and hurt animals. Studies suggest a 30-60% increase in lost pets after such an event.
  • Your few minutes of fun cost animals their lives and cause tons of suffering!

Image by The Paw Company

Fireworks and the law:

Fireworks in South Africa are controlled in terms of the Explosives Act 15 of 2003 (Explosives Act). There are also specific by-laws that regulate the use or exploding of fireworks.

Read the act on the SAPS website HERE

  • Firework dealers need to be licensed in terms of the Explosives Act. Only individuals in possession of valid licenses may deal in the sale of fireworks.
  • No fireworks may be sold by street hawkers or vendors.
  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks without a certificate for authorization.
  • It is also unlawful for any person to use or explode any firework within 500 meters of any building or any public thoroughfare. This includes any residential area.

If you notice these actions, please report them to your nearest police station! Don’t use fireworks nor support shops that sell them and businesses that display them for fun or allow them on their premises. If your company does it, please see management or organize a petition against it in your town.


Image by Cape of Good Hope SPCA

Tips for firework preparation:

There are things you can do to help your furry family members remain calm when fireworks may be used, but executing your plan before your pet becomes stressed is important. 

  • Use a teaspoon to knock on various surfaces around the house and follow up with a treat. This teaches your dog that startling sounds predict yummy food.
  • Teach your dog to use a Kong or chew toy so that they can engage in this calming activity during the next fireworks occasion.
  • Play with your dog during thunderstorms. Creating an association between play and the cracks of lightning will aid in generalizing a positive emotional state during fireworks.
  • Make sure your microchip information is registered on more than one database and up-to-date as well as your animal having an up-to-date tag on their collar. This is a big challenge when we find pets with out-of-date details.
  • If you know your animal is prone to extreme stress during this time, then see your veterinarian, before these events, for some medication. Never use human medication and discuss the use of natural remedies with your veterinarian.
  • Make sure your yard is secure and safe as many pets who try to escape get stuck on palisades or hurt on other fencing.
  • Decensitizing your pet for these sound at their pace can be achieved, but it has to happen weeks or months before such an event as it takes time. 

Image by Bark Vader Dog School

Watch this video for more details


Images by The Animal Welfare Society of SA.

What to do during fireworks:

  • On the day of the expected fireworks, look for your animals, especially cats, before the fireworks start.
  • Close windows and curtains so your pet is not startled by sudden flashes.
  • Keep your pets indoors with windows, doors, and pet doors shut and secured so they can’t escape when spooked.
  • If your cat is not used to being indoors, provide extra litter boxes inside.
  • Provide your pet with food before the fireworks as it can help calm them or they might be too stressed to eat later.
  • Give your pet a safe place to hide with blankets and bedding to mask the sounds.   Cats also feel secure and love boxes.
  • Put the TV or music on to mute the firework bangs.
  • Specific music can help them relax: www.caninelullabies.com or www.rescueanimalmp3.org
  • If your pet is hiding, don’t try to lure them out. This can make them more anxious and stressed.
  • Distract your pet with treats or play time if they are pacing or displaying nervous behaviour.  
  • Stay home with your pets in these frightening times as you would with frightened children. You also need to stay calm as they can feel your anxiety.  

Image by Animal Friends Pet Insurance

In conclusion, the use of fireworks, while a spectacular tradition for human celebrations, is a selfish act that takes a heavy toll on our animal companions. The distress, anxiety, and fear experienced by pets and wildlife during firework displays is a matter of great concern. As responsible and compassionate individuals, we need to reconsider the necessity of these dazzling but potentially harmful displays.

By choosing alternative ways to celebrate special occasions and holidays that do not involve fireworks, we can protect the well-being of our four-legged friends, as well as the environment. This decision not only demonstrates our commitment to the welfare of animals but also promotes a more harmonious coexistence with the creatures we share our planet with. Ultimately, it’s a small sacrifice for the sake of the happiness, comfort, and safety of our beloved animal companions, and it reflects our dedication to creating a more compassionate and empathetic society.

This year volunteer at your local shelters when fireworks are being set off by these selfish humans so you can help comfort the animals. Help us educate others by sharing this information and reporting any unlawful selling or use of fireworks. Don’t support any firework displays!

If you find a lost dog or pet, please take them to the SPCA or local shelter!


Source: The Bulletin


TEARS Animal Rescue – Invite to the biggest Slumber party of the year


TEARS Animal Rescue – Invite to the biggest Slumber party of the year!

Your Ticket Buys a Rescue Pet VIP (Very Important Pet) Treatment


The biggest Slumber Party of the year is taking place at TEARS Animal Rescue on three consecutive Saturdays in November 2023.

Currently in its 10th year, and the most important fundraiser on the TEARS event calendar, tickets to attend the TEARS 2023 Sleepathon, supported by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, are available on the TEARS website (www.tears.org.za/sleepathon) or via the TEARS Online Shop. This year’s three Sleepathon events will be hosted on the 11th, 18th, and 25th of November respectively.

Tickets cost R250 per person and enable pet lovers (of all ages) to support the charity and spend a night cuddling rescue dogs or cats while raising funds for TEARS! 

TEARS Marketing and Fundraising Manager, Lara Van Rensburg says, “We’re so grateful for the annual support of pet lovers and our amazing sponsors who make this an unforgettable and fun experience for the individuals and families attending. We’d like to encourage individuals, friends, and corporate teams to sign up and support this great cause. Not only is it vital for our sustainability as a rescue, treatment, rehabilitation, and rehoming charity, but it also makes a difference in rescue pets’ lives by exposing them to an unforgettable night of VIP (very important pet) treatment and cuddles.”

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Every registered “Snoozer” will be provided with a Welcome Pack that enables them to kick-start their own Back-A-Snoozer funding campaign with some great incentives for those that raise R3000 or more for completing their Sleepathon challenge. There are 100 tickets available per event evening and the target is to sell 300 tickets.

Annual income from the TEARS Sleepathon is critical to funding the organisation’s two Mobile Clinics and Veterinary Outreach programmes, which include sterilisation and vaccination campaigns that are essential in zoonotic disease prevention and companion animal population management in the four low-income communities that TEARS services in the South Peninsula.

“Snoozers” will be required to check-in at the Shelter at 5PM for an evening of face-licking hospitality and a delicious plant-based dinner. Everyone is encouraged to bring sleeping bags and camping gear, as well as snacks and treats to make their sleepover as memorable as possible. The Sleepathon is only officially over at 7AM the next morning. 

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For the past 24 years, TEARS has provided a vital rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and rehoming sanctuary for vulnerable companion animals in the Southern Peninsula. As a pro-life, Public Beneficiary Organisation (PBO) with a Veterinary Hospital, two Mobile Clinics, and a Cattery and Kennel that house up to 230 rescued companion animals, the organisation provides free sterilisation, vaccination, and primary healthcare to at-risk and homeless pets. TEARS relies on the financial support of caring individuals, corporates and Trusts and Foundations to deliver on its mission and mandate to support vulnerable pets and pet owners.

The TEARS 2022 Sleepathon is taking place at the TEARS Animal Rescue Kennels (4 Lekkerwater Road, Sunnydale, Cape Town, 7975) and the TEARS Cattery (Wenga Farm, 21 Kommetjie Road, Sunnydale, Cape Town, 7975). For more information visit www.tears.org.za/sleepathon or email sleepathon@tears.org.za. To buy a ticket:  www.tears.org.za/product/2023-sleepathon-ticket/

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Source: TEARS Animal Rescue

Disabled Khayelitsha dogs get a second chance at happiness


Disabled Khayelitsha dogs get a second chance at happiness

The staff at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha have expressed their pride in the extra lengths they go for every individual pet.

“It’s not just a shelter; it’s a place where compassion and care know no bounds,” says General Manager, Sr Heidi May.

Mdzananda’s shelter doesn’t just house healthy and good-looking dogs. They open their hearts and doors to all, including the disabled and special needs. 

“We ensure that every pet receives the care and love they deserve, irrespective of if they are disabled, until they find their forever homes,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Executive. 

Boogie’s story encapsulates the spirit of Mdzananda. Du Plessis recounts her encounter with Boogie, a one-eyed dog who captured hearts from the moment he arrived at the clinic.

“When I arrived at Mdzananda yesterday, our veterinarian told me that there’s a really special dog that I need to see. She led me to our homeless shelter, and there he was – the cutest one-eyed guy I’ve ever seen. His name is Boogie.”

Marcelle vividly described her meeting with Boogie: “I went into his kennel and plonked myself down onto the floor, ready to smother him with love. And love I sure received. He hopped around me on three legs as his hind leg is lame and gave me a googly eye with big smiles and tail wags.”

The bond between Marcelle and Boogie was instantaneous. “I wrapped my arms around him and snuggled my face into his neck. He wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, but he soon leaned into it and lapped up the love and kisses.”

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Above Images: Ben and Boogie. Photos by Kelly Arendse.

Boogie’s journey began when he was brought to Mdzananda’s hospital as a patient with a fractured hind leg. The clinic’s dedicated veterinarians invested considerable time and effort into healing him. However, when he was ready to return home, his owner decided they no longer wanted him. Boogie entered Mdzananda’s homeless pet shelter where he now awaits a new forever home.

“Our veterinarians and staff have fallen absolutely head over heels for this kind, loving, and gentle boy. We are all hoping that he will find a forever or foster home soon,” says du Plessis. 

Another dog currently in their shelter is blind Ben, a five-year-old Africanis who was handed over as his owner felt unequipped to care for a blind dog. The Mdzananda team eagerly anticipates the day both dogs find the perfect homes.

Mdzananda Animal Clinic and Shelter encourages individuals to consider adopting or fostering dogs like Boogie and Ben who are waiting for their second chance at a loving home. To make a difference in a dog’s life, please contact admin@mdzananda.co.za. View videos of Ben and Boogie on Mdzananda’s website www.mdzananda.co.za.

It costs the shelter approximately R1500 to care for a pet for two months. Many of them stay much longer, even up to two years. To make a donation, bank details are:

  • Mdzananda Animal Clinic,
  • Standard Bank,
  • Account 075595710,
  • Branch 025009,
  • Savings,
  • Reference: Boogie + your name.

Source: Mdzananda Animal Clinic