Fireworks – an improvement compared to last year

2017 Came in with a big bang as usual but as with every year people choose not to follow regulations and shoot off fireworks with little regard for others’ pets.

On December 31 the skies lit up in a bright show of colour as lights danced across the midnight horizon over eMalahleni – it was a sight to see for some but felt like a warzone for others.

As with past years, the Emalahleni Municipality demarcated specific zones for residents to use to shoot off fireworks. Although the majority of residents took to these zones to celebrate the coming of the New Year, a number of residents thought themselves above the law and chose to shoot fireworks without any regard for others, at the locales of their choice.

For Mr Nic Samwell, a resident in Ga-Nala, New Years wasn’t a time of celebration as his four-year-old Boerboel attempted to flee the yard by climbing a wall and was instead caught between the perimeter wall and the garage wall.

Mr Nic Samwell’s dog attempted to flee the yard and managed to wedge itself between two walls.

“There were a lot of fireworks over New Years especially after 12. We have three dogs and all of them were stressing but the worst was my Boerboel he was chewing at everything. We had to let him out of the house,” said Samwell.

As soon as the dog was let outside it made a run for the wall and tried to climb it, it was then that it got stuck between the walls.

Ms An-Li Louw Willemse’s New Year didn’t turn out as planned as one of her Old English Game’s (a breed of rooster) died of shock on Old Year’s Eve.

“I had him for four months and bought him specifically for breeding, he was one of my show roosters,” said Willemse.

According to Willemse the rooster died shortly after a loud bang was heard as someone shot off a firework in Jackaroo close to her home.

“It’s really unnecessary for people to fire off fireworks not to mention the damage it causes to pet owners,” she said.

Ms Petro Nagel’s parrot was among the animals fatally affected by the illegal shooting of fireworks as her eight-year-old parrot also died of shock when someone let off a firework near her home.
Other areas affected by the illegal shooting of fireworks included extensions 8, 10 and 41, Model Park and Del Judor extension 1.

Ms Victoria Cary spoke her mind on social media saying that she couldn’t understand why people still use fireworks,

Ms An-Li Louw Willemse’s rooster died of shock.

“It’s pretty for a few second and its over, it leaves a mess that people don’t clean and it’s traumatising our animals, not to mention dangerous around children.”

The Witbank SPCA had their hands full over the festive season as with every year but this year proved to be better than most.

“We want to thank the community for complying with the rules set out by the municipality, there weren’t many illegal incidents of fireworks being shot,” said Mr Comfort Mphahlele, Witbank SPCA administrator/training inspector.

He went on to say that there were no reported injuries to animals and was pleased to give the good news that over 30 dogs collected from the streets, have been reunited with their families.

“We want to thank the community for their praise on our quick response to calls and the safe return of their animals. After 02:00 the city quietened down and we thank the community we really appreciate it,” he said.

Ms Natalie Pretorius, Witbank SPCA manager, said that there are still a number of missing animals that haven’t arrived at the centre and requests that should the community come upon any strays they should please let the Witbank SPCA know by calling 013 650 2321.

“Residents are reminded that they don’t have the authority or the right to re-home animals they find on the streets and that these lost animals could be someone’s loved ones,” she said.

Fireworks – where and when
Think of your kids, your pets – Say no to fireworks

Trevor Aingworth

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