Animal Rescue KZN has urged members of the community to be cautious and avoid acts of animal cruelty when using fireworks during Diwali festivities.

Annastashia Naidu from Animal Rescue KZN stated, “Diwali is fast approaching, as the hustle and bustle of the preparation begin, can we take a moment to sit back and think. Is my animal safe? Is my yard secure?
Am I prepared for not only the celebration but for the torment my dog will endure?
While some fail to notice the change in their animal’s behaviour during the festivities, remember cats and dogs have stronger hearing power than we do and can even feel vibrations of loud noises.”

Below are 7 tips offered by Animal Rescue KZN to make sure your pets are safe:

* Rescue medication: these tablets are widely available at pharmacies and vets.
Having a tough time getting the tablet down?
A little bit of bribery never hurts. Wrap up the tablet in one or their favourite treats.
* Keep pets indoors: if you see your animal highly stressed keep them indoors, that way they have a lesser chance of getting out of your yard and injuring themselves.
* Create a calm area: Put on a little music to drown out the loud bangs and it’s a clever calming trick, you will notice the difference in minutes.
* Shut all windows and doors, this masks the sound as well.
* Keep your animal distracted by playing with them or giving treats.
* Make sure that when about to light a cracker, first let the stray animals move away safely. Startling them will only create more fear, they may run into the traffic and get injured.
* Burst crackers in a secluded area and a centralized location so that animals can be restricted or kept away from the place during the fireworks.

“This Diwali let’s have good memories instead of more fatalities. Share your holiday with them not your fireworks.

“From every member of our Animal Rescue KZN team, we wish all celebrating during this festive time a blessed day. Stay safe, have fun and please keep your animals in mind,” added Naidu.