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How to help a stray animal

JOBURG - Johannesburg SPCA offers advice on dealing with an animal which is lost or injured.

You are driving in your car and you see a stray dog wandering around, looking lost. What should you do?

Jolene Byleveld of the Johannesburg SPCA offers the following tips:

– Ensure your own safety first. You cannot help the animal if you become injured or become caught up in a dangerous situation.

– A lost, frightened or hurt animal can behave unpredictably. A sudden move like opening your car door can cause the dog to run away and possibly be hit by another vehicle.

– Speak calmly and try to entice the animal using strong smelling food like tuna when you approach the animal. You can try to lure the dog into your vehicle, but do so with caution as it is not a good idea to drive with a strange dog unrestrained in your car.

– It is very difficult, even for SPCA staff, to try and catch a dog that is running frantically in the road. To prevent the animal from being injured or causing an accident, try to trap the animal in a confined space.

– Contact the SPCA immediately if you see a stray animal roaming the streets. Try to be as descriptive as possible when reporting its physical appearance and last-known location.

An SPCA duty inspector is available 24 hours a day for injured stray animals.

Details: Johannesburg SPCA 011 681 3600; Krugersdorp SPCA 011 953 1135; Randburg SPCA 011 462 1610; Roodepoort SPCA 011 672 0448.

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