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Have your say on Guy Fawkes

 

fireworks

The SPCA and NZ Companion Animal Council would like to know about your animal's experiences with fireworks in order to better understand the impact that they may have.

We have created a short anonymous survey that should take no longer than five minutes of your time.

Please help in this important research by taking the time to fill in the survey online here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/animalsandfireworks

The survey will be available from today until the 30th of November. Please share with your friends and family and encourage them to help too!

SPCA’s Top Tips for Animals and Guy Fawkes:

• Never let fireworks off close to animals.
• Think about staying home to reassure and comfort your pets; they will be much less stressed with someone they trust close by. Alternatively, find a reliable person who will stay with your pets and look after them.
• Exterior doors and windows should be secured to prevent your pets escaping and running away. Interior doors and curtains/blinds should be closed as this will help muffle the sound of fireworks and prevent your pets being startled by the lights.
• It is a good idea to switch on the radio, television or stereo to distract your pets from the sound of fireworks.
• Take special care of an elderly or nervous animal - speak to your veterinarian before Guy Fawkes about whether calming medication would be suitable.
• Make sure your pet is either microchipped, or has a collar on with up to date contact details in case they are panicked by the fireworks and escape. This will help rescuers reunite you.
• If you have small pets that live outdoors, don’t forget to partly cover cages/pens and aviaries with blankets for sound proofing.
• Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks and make sure all fences are secure. Stable horses where possible.

 

Keep your animals safe and happy this Guy Fawkes

 
fireworksRemember, remember the fifth of November- it’s Guy Fawkes and time to take extra care of your furry companions.

While most humans enjoy the fireworks festivities, many pets unfortunately become highly distressed by fireworks, says SPCA (Acting) Chief Executive Andrea Midgen. The SPCA receives dozens of calls at this time of year relating to fireworks issues including; animal injuries, frightened animals, missing pets and occasionally, abuse of animals.

“The loud noises and bright flashes of light can be very frightening to animals and many animals become highly stressed by them,” Midgen says. “This can sadly lead to animals running away and going missing, injuring themselves or becoming susceptible to traffic accidents. We urge pet owners to keep their pets inside and safe on Guy Fawkes Night.”

Planning ahead for Guy Fawkes is key, Midgen says. “Be aware of Guy Fawkes Night and create a strategy for your animals. Making sure your pet has company, is kept inside and has proper identification are just a few easy ways that you can ensure the safety and happiness of your pet.”

While the SPCA does not support the private sale and use of fireworks and has long called for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public, those planning to set off fireworks in their homes should consider speaking to their neighbours, or leaving a note in their letterbox, so that those with pets can prepare accordingly.

“We ask people without pets to be aware of the stress their use of fireworks can cause others in their neighbourhood and act considerately,” Midgen says. She also encouraged people to attend controlled public fireworks displays rather than using fireworks at home.

Unfortunately the public sale of fireworks ensures that there is no 'set' day for fireworks to be used and therefore pet owners must remain vigilant at all times.

SPCA’s Top Tips for Animals and Guy Fawkes:

• Never let fireworks off close to animals.
• Think about staying home to reassure and comfort your pets; they will be much less stressed with someone they trust close by. Alternatively, find a reliable person who will stay with your pets and look after them.
• Exterior doors and windows should be secured to prevent your pets escaping and running away. Interior doors and curtains/blinds should be closed as this will help muffle the sound of fireworks and prevent your pets being startled by the lights.
• It is a good idea to switch on the radio, television or stereo to distract your pets from the sound of fireworks.
• Take special care of an elderly or nervous animal - speak to your veterinarian before Guy Fawkes about whether calming medication would be suitable.
• Make sure your pet is either microchipped, or has a collar on with up to date contact details in case they are panicked by the fireworks and escape. This will help rescuers reunite you.
• If you have small pets that live outdoors, don’t forget to partly cover cages/pens and aviaries with blankets for sound proofing.
• Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks and make sure all fences are secure. Stable horses where possible.

SPCA List of Shame shines spotlight on animal cruelty

 
Te Kuiti man beforeA puppy who suffered 11 fractures, endured massive swelling to her face and could not open her jaw following a brutal beating by her Christchurch-based owner is just one of the horrific cases included in this year’s SPCA List of Shame.

The annual list highlights New Zealand’s shameful animal abuse track record and is being released ahead of the 2016 SPCA Annual Appeal, the organisation’s biggest fundraising event. Running between Monday 7 and Sunday 13 November, the Appeal aims to raise awareness of animal welfare issues and the ongoing need for education to help prevent cruelty to animals.

SPCA Chief Executive (Acting) Andrea Midgen says the List of Shame highlights some of the worst animal abuse offences, but it’s still only the tip of the iceberg.

“Our SPCA Inspectors investigated a record 15,219 animal welfare complaints last year.. This List of Shame is the culmination of these – the very worst cases of horrible animal abuse, neglect and cruelty,” Ms Midgen says.

This year’s list includes heartbreaking and cowardly animal abuse acts including a Horowhenua woman whose horse had collapsed and was so malnourished it had to be euthanised; a Hamilton woman who failed to seek vet treatment for a large, painful open wound on her cat’s shoulder and an Auckland dog owner whose dog was discovered chained up, emaciated and suffering from mange, ringworm, chronic ear infections and anaemia.

“SPCA Inspectors are the last hope for many of New Zealand’s abused animals, but we need the public’s help to continue this vital work. Running the SPCA Inspectorate costs approximately $9 million each year, and we receive no direct government funding. The funds raised during the Annual Appeal help us work towards a New Zealand in which there’s no List of Shame,” says Ms Midgen.

Thanks to the work of SPCA Inspectors, some of the animals on this year’s List of Shame survived to have a second chance at a happy, healthy life.

This was the case for Selena, a nine year old Samoyed and face of this year’s Annual Appeal. Selena was rescued by an SPCA Inspector after she was discovered starving and living in an Auckland garage. She had never spent any time outdoors and was just eight kilos - half of what a healthy Samoyed should have weighed.

After being rescued by an SPCA Inspector, Selena was nursed back to health while in the care of the SPCA and eventually found their forever homes with a new adoptive families. Today Selena’s days are spent playing at the beach and enjoying cuddles from her loving family.

Donations to this year’s SPCA Annual Appeal can be made to street collectors around the country from Monday 11 November, or click here to make a donation online.

Violent attack on a puppy leads to amputation of leg

SPCA Canterbury Christoper Cross June 2016 Buddy smallerA Christchurch man who went on a violent rampage resulting in the beating and eventual amputation of a puppy’s leg was convicted of willful ill-treatment of an animal today and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for his actions.

Christopher Cross, 26, plead guilty to all charges and was charged with 10 months imprisonment and disqualified from owning animals for a period of five years/

Chief Executive Officer for the Canterbury SPCA, Barry Helem, welcomed the sentence. “This was a senseless act of violence that undoubtedly caused untold pain and distress to the puppy involved.”

On the morning of 12 May 2015 the Christchurch City Council received a call from a member of the public who reported hearing a man, at a property in Woolston, yelling and swearing followed by loud “cracking blows” and a dog yelping.

The Christchurch City Council phoned the Canterbury SPCA and two Inspectors were dispatched immediately to look into the situation.

Upon their arrival Mr Cross first told the Inspectors that he was in the shower when he heard his puppy yelping. He claimed he then went outside to investigate and found him covered in dirt and injured.

The puppy, a black 5 month old Labrador cross named ‘Buddy’, was extremely fearful when approached by the Inspectors. “The puppy was wet, covered in mud and in obvious distress,” said Jamie Hancock, SPCA Inspector. “His hip looked injured and he could not put any weight on his left hind leg.”

The SPCA Inspectors immediately took the puppy into their care and sought urgent veterinary care. An examination and x-trays revealed considerable bruising, several fractures to his left hind leg and lung contusions.

The veterinarian concluded that the puppy’s injuries were consistent with multiple impacts involving significant force and that he would have suffered considerable pain and distress.

The puppy’s hind leg was amputated and following his recovery he was later rehomed by the SPCA.

SPCA calls for improvements to bobby calf treatment

311 1 thumbSPCA New Zealand is deeply disturbed by the inhumane treatment of bobby calves shown in videos taken by Farmwatch and released to the media yesterday.

“The footage we have seen relating to the handling of bobby calves for transport to slaughterhouses in the Waikato and Taranaki is not acceptable. No animal should be treated in this way, and to think this was done to vulnerable very young calves is deeply disturbing,” says Andrea Midgen, Acting CEO of SPCA New Zealand.

“We were pleased that MPI implemented some of our recommendations in to the new Young Calf regulations that came in to force in August this year, however it is clear from the footage shown last night that some of the dairying industry still has a very long way to go to improve their animal welfare standards. The behaviour seen in the footage is absolutely unacceptable. We still believe there is further urgent need for better processes, procedures, and oversight, and most importantly for workers to understand how to handle these animals humanely.”

“Some of the footage released yesterday shows may be offences under the Animal Welfare Act and certainly warrants further investigation. We offer any support to the MPI in their investigations. .”

“Overall we believe the separation of bobby calves from their mothers at such an early age is inherently problematic and we would welcome the exploration by the dairy industry of alternatives. In the meantime, every effort should and must be made by the industry to ensure the humane treatment of bobby calves and their mothers.”

Given the vulnerability of the extremely young animals involved, SPCA New Zealand believes the following should be practiced:
  • Not transporting bobby calves before they are 10 days old.
  • Not confining bobby calves for longer than 2 hours while awaiting transport.
  • Providing proper bedding for bobby calves awaiting transport.
  • Providing proper bedding for bobby calves during transport.
  • Ensuring better and more humane methods for loading and unloading bobby calves. Throwing animals is completely unacceptable.
  • The time and distance bobby calves are transported should be limited – and drivers should be trained to drive appropriately.
  • If a bobby calf is to be slaughtered, this should be done on the same day as transport and should be done quickly and humanely.