Dogs in hot cars!

Never leave your dog alone in a hot car.

Dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them unattended in a parked car. Parked cars become death traps for dogs. Without proper ventilation, temperatures soon soar in a locked car.

Dogs pant to keep cool and quickly overheat in hot cars when there is no free flow of air. Leaving windows slightly open WILL NOT keep your car cool enough.

Heatstroke can be fatal and develops when dogs are unable to reduce their core body temperature. Symptoms include heavy panting, profuse salivation, rapid pulse, lack of co-ordination, collapse and loss of consciousness.

How hot does it get in a parked car?

The temperatures in this video are quoted in Fahrenheit so do the conversion for equivalent temperatures in South Africa. Divide by 32 to get the temperature in Celsius.

Time is of the essence and can mean the difference between life and death.

It is recommended that the dog undergo a veterinarian evaluation if he/she shows signs of heatstroke. Heatstroke is deadly in dogs!


Ticks and fleas and what you may want to know about them.

Ticks and Fleas


Quick Facts on Fleas

  • Fleas are small wingless parasites (1 to 4 mm in length).
  • They can jump 6 inches (15 cm) vertically and up to 13 inches (33 cm) horizontally.
  • One flea may lay up to 25 eggs per day.
  • Fleas can only lay eggs after taking a blood meal from their host.
  • The flea life cycle (egg to larvae to pupae to adult) is completed in 18-26 days depending on the temperature.
  • Fleas in the pupae stage can remain dormant for up to 9 months.
  • Common symptoms of a flea infestation include biting or scratching around the tail, groin or back, or the appearance of small scabs or bumps on your pet’s neck or back.
  • To check whether your pet has fleas, check for flea dirt – tiny black specs found on your pet or on its favourite spots.
  • Flea dirt is the adult flea’s faeces which is rich in blood. If it turns red when wetted you have confirmed the presence of fleas on your pet!
  • If you find fleas, you will need to treat your home and pet – ask your vet for advice.
  • Flea bites may cause an allergic reaction in both pets and humans.
  • Flea larvae feed on tapeworm eggs. The eggs continue to mature inside the flea. When the flea matures the pet eats the flea. The tapeworm egg, still living inside the flea, comes to maturity inside the pet’s intestines where it is free to grow and reproduce.
  • Flea-borne Black Death swept across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe in the fourteenth century, killing as much as a third of the world’s population.

Quick Facts on Ticks

  • Ticks are more closely related to spiders (arachnids) than to insects.
  • There are two families of ticks. Soft ticks (Argasidae) and hard ticks (Ixodidae).
  • There are 4 stages of growth in the tick – the egg, the larvae, the nymph and the adult.
  • If not removed, the adult female tick will remain attached for 5-7 days sucking blood from the host. During this time she may become 4 times greater in size and 100 times greater in weight.
  • The female lays as many as 3000 to 4000 eggs.
  • Depending on the type of tick, the cycle from egg to adult may take months or years.
  • Ticks can transmit life-threatening diseases such as tick fever (Babesiosis) and tick bite fever (Ehrlichiosis) to your dog.
  • The best way to remove a tick from a person or a pet, is to grasp the tick firmly with tweezers as close as possible to where it is attached to the skin. Slowly and steadily pull the tick straight up.

Quick Facts on Biting Flies

  • The stable fly (Stomoxys) closely resembles the common house fly (Musca domestica) but they are blood feeders.
  • Stable flies cause considerable injury and irritation to animals and love to attack the ears and noses of dogs.
  • The flies have a sharp mouth part (proboscis) for piercing the skin and drawing blood.
  • Both male and female flies will bite.
  • The female fly needs multiple blood meals before laying her eggs.
  • Breeding mainly occurs during the spring and summer months.
  • In warm weather flies complete their development (egg to larvae to pupae to adult) in a very short period, 7-14 days and produce numerous generations during one season.
  • Dogs should be protected from fly attacks by using a product with fly repellant action.


Tips for Responsible Parasiticide Use

  • Various products are available for the control of ticks, fleas and biting flies. Dips, powders, pour-ons, spot-ons, sprays, collars and shampoos may be used.
  • Always read the product instructions carefully and follow them!
  • Preferably wear gloves when applying the product to your pet.
  • Always wash your hands well afterwards.
  • Never use a product on a species other than the one it is registered for. Cats, birds and fish might be more susceptible to toxic effects.
  • Apply the product outside your house.
  • Prevent your pet from ingesting any excess product.
  • Ensure that your pet is completely dry before letting it into the house after application.
  • Don’t sleep with your pet after treating it.
  • Always store products in a cool, dry place out of reach of uninformed people, children and pets.
  • Never use more than one product simultaneously if not advised to do so by your vet.


The significance of our uMngeni SPCA Emergency Number

Please help us ensure we keep our emergency number available for urgent emergencies only.

Please help us ensure we keep our emergency number available for urgent emergencies only.

Many people ask what constitutes an emergency. We, as an Animal Welfare organisation receive many, many emergency calls within any given month. While we are more than happy to provide immediate and important response to any animal in dire need of our assistance, we do not operate at full capacity 24/7.

Many calls we do receive after hours are not necessary and sometimes, don’t even pertain to an animal in need; it merely is a convenience to an owner who might just be unaware of our actual office hours. No administrative duties are performed after hours.

The meaning of the word Emergency is a situation that poses immediate risk to health, life, property and environment. This involves animal welfare too. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation.

Our SPCA organisation in South Africa requires all SPCA’s to have an after-hours emergency number.

As this number is an after-hours emergency number, it must be remembered that the staff member that answers this phone has worked a full day at the SPCA and they are on stand-by for EMERGENCIES ONLY.

Please note that the following situations are not constituted as an animal emergency and should therefore, be dealt with during office hours on our kennel number which is 033 -3304557.

  • To make a booking for Boarding of animals.
  • To cancel a Boarding booking, especially not at 1:00 in the morning.
  • To ascertain what we charge for sterilisations.
  • For strays running on the road – if the animal is not contained or being monitored by the time we arrive, it would have disappeared.
  • For request for medical treatment when the animal has been ill the whole day – we are often contacted after office hours for assistance. We do not have a Vet on stand-by and you will need to contact your private Vet for assistance.

We appeal to the public to use this number with discretion; we are here to assist animals in need and we do this willingly, but at the same time the usage of our emergency number needs to be reasonable and fair to all involved.

We are always available for animals in need of urgent attention.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, Public Relations Officer/Fundraiser for the uMngeni SPCA


Don’t Delay, Always Spay!


Many people ask us why we are such avid advocates of sterilisation and the simple answer is because it’s a lifesaver.

It’s no myth that there is an overpopulation of unwanted pets nationwide. Every year thousands of cats and dogs end up homeless and sadly, there are just not enough people to adopt all these unwanted pets.

There are many reasons that pets end up homeless, ranging from the sad fact that people simply cannot afford to keep animals and many animals are abused, neglected and subjected to horrifying acts of cruelty.

Spaying and neutering pets prevents animals from being born accidentally, and is the most effective and humane way to save animals lives.

The benefits far outweigh any negative connotations to sterilisation as your pet will live a longer, healthier life preventing many diseases and discomfort to your animal. It reduces and eliminates breast cancer and dangerous uterine infections in females and prostate problems and testicular cancer in males. The urge to mate will be taken away as well, making your pet less distracted and more contented.

The fear of losing your furry friend due to them wanting to roam to search for a mate is decreased and your loved pet will not get into fights with other animals or get hit by a car.

Aggression is different to protectiveness and an aggressive pet is very difficult to handle and may result in it becoming homeless once again. This is drastically reduced with sterilisation.

Remember, sterilisation must and should be done only by a skilled, professional Vet, who will perform the surgery under general anaesthetic so your pets do not feel any pain. There might be a period of discomfort after the operation, but this is minimal and for a short period of time.

A happy pet is a loved pet, and you are doing the right thing, ensuring your pets are healthy members of your family for many years to come.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez

PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

12 Ways to help raise money for uMngeni SPCA


Not everyone knows that fundraising comes in many different shapes and forms. Every charity organization has various methods of raising much needed money to ensure that their organization keeps the cause they are affiliated to, running and maintained.

This is often, not an easy task, especially as economic times get tougher and everyone is tightening their belts more than ever before. The ironic thing is that even though this is the case, the amount of animals needing our assistance never ceases and in fact, because there has been an increase of animal welfare due to Outreach Programmes, there are more animals needing treatment, nourishment and care than ever before.

As you know, we are a NGO (Non-Government Organization) and we rely largely on donations, bequests, sponsorships, and support from our community (individual and corporate enterprises) to attend fundraising events and to buy from our retail shops.

I thought it would be a good idea to list a few ways you, our supporters, new and old, could assist our cause through various avenues of fundraising. It allows you to choose what project you would like to be a part of.

  1. Simply donate an amount of your choice to uMngeni SPCA through Debit Order every month.
  2. Support our Fundraising events such as the SPCA 1000 Paws Walk on the 12th July
  3. Support our other events such as the Spring Fling, Street Collection, Tree of Love and the Valentine’s Day Tea.
  4. Take a “share” in our Kitty-Cat Shareholdings project – pamphlets are in every SPCA outlet
  5. Become a member of the 100 Club. For a debit order of R100 (or more) you will become a member of this Club and be privy to a yearly monetary prize.
  6. Become part of the Litres for Education project and by filling up at a dedicated SPCA garage, we will receive 10 cents on every litre you pay for at that garage. Details to follow.
  7. Donate pet food to our kennels to help us feed all the animals that come our way throughout every year.
  8. If you need us to serve teas and coffee, and sometimes eats, at your various events, our catering committee will be able to assist you for a small fee.
  9. Buy a beaded SPCA bracelet at any of our outlets from the end of April. R20 a bracelet.
  10. Schools can get involved by asking for collection tins and fill them throughout a term. Corporate companies can donate money to the uMngeni SPCA and receive a Section 18A for tax purposes.
  11. Please don’t forget to pop a few coins into the collection tins in and around shops in the area. Every little bit helps.
  12. Take a raffle ticket. When we hold raffles, please take a ticket or two, you stand to win lovely prizes and you are helping us help animals in need.

Urgently needed: fabric; lace; ribbon; embroidery silks; threads; fabric paints; craft stamps; stencils. Please contact Tess on 076 301 4827 or Val on 071 385 4520 if you have any of these items to donate. Thank you.

Until next time, take care and thank you.

Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Loneliness after parting with beloved pets


There are thousands of people now living in Howick who have chosen the comfortable, secure lifestyle offered by the various mushrooming complexes. Often after the passing of a spouse concerned children and friends persuade their bereaved parent/friend to move from what was their family home to a neat little unit in a retirement village. It is a huge adjustment for many as so much has to be pared from their lives. They have, in the main, had to jettison much of their bulky furniture and many treasured mementos of lives lived in much bigger homes and gardens.

One of the hardest things for many of them is to decide what to do with the latest in a series of dogs and cats that have shared their lives. As loneliness is surely one of the contributing factors to depression in people adjusting to life in a complex it is particularly traumatic to also have to part with their beloved pets.

With this sad situation in mind the uMngeni SPCA has launched an initiative whereby anyone and particularly those who may be battling to come to terms with the loss of their beloved pets may share ownership of SPCA owned cats.

The uMngeni SPCA has nine and a half cats; three at the Fundraising Centre at 39 Main Street (opposite Giovision) and six at the kennels in Campbell Road. These cats are not up for adoption and are not kept in cages. They grace the reception desks and offices and each one has its own individual personality and attributes. Some consider themselves invaluable workers while others merely deign to accept the food on offer. Each one is a character. …oh, and the half cat? That’s Jack, will-o-the-wisp, newly arrived off the street, knows a good thing when he sees it.

Anyone who would like to have a share in any of these cats can become a Kitty-cat Shareholder. They can visit ‘their’ cat, taking in little cat treats, perhaps some cat-nip they may have grown in their garden or little cat toys. If they are lucky their cat may spend some time curled up on their lap but if not they will still have the bragging rights amongst their friends when they recount ‘their’ cat’s qualities. A small monthly contribution will go towards the upkeep of ‘their’ special cat as well as towards all the other animals the SPCA helps.

To find out more, pop into any of our outlets and ask for the Kitty-cat Shareholding package. Study the colour brochure, choose ‘your’ cat and complete the form to become a Kitty-cat Shareholder. This is surely a win-win offer for everyone.

Heather Somerville for Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser, uMngeni SPCA



A poorly dog diagnosed with Parvo, sits forlornly in his cage attached to a drip.

We are currently experiencing an outbreak of parvo and distemper.

These are viruses which are highly contagious.


Parvo virus attacks young dogs from as early as 8 weeks. Those puppies born from unvaccinated mothers and those puppies who have not themselves been vaccinated are at high risk.

The virus attacks the lining of the intestines, causing it to be stripped away and hence the puppy vomits and has a bloody, foul smelling diarrhea. The prognosis is very poor, early treatment by a Veterinarian does not even guarantee success in saving the puppy.


This virus affects both puppies and adult dogs. The virus attacks the gastro intestinal tract, respiratory and nervous systems.

The early signs are loss of apetite, raised temperature and a bloody diarrhea, which looks similar to the parvo virus.

Puppies and adults can recover from this phase or it may be followed by respiratory symptoms such as coughing and thick mucus discharge from the eyes and nose.

Once again the dog can recover from this phase with aggressive treatment by a Veterinarian. However, the virus may already have entered the nervous system and 2 weeks to 2 months post “successful treatment” the dog will present with nervous symptoms, such a twitching and generalised weakness which progresses to complete paralysis, coma and death.

Once the nervous symptoms are present there is no cure.

The importance of vaccinations to control these diseases cannot be over emphasised. Puppies receive their primary vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks, followed by a booster vaccination at 12 weeks; they will also be given a rabies vaccination at 12 weeks.

Then they need their full set of vaccinations including rabies annually.

It is important to remember that distemper can be a catastrophic disease even for an adult dog, thus it is imperative to keep up these annual vaccinations.

Dr Tanya Hughes

Veterinarian for uMngeni SPCA



Whilst I know that special occasions come with celebrations and a lot of the time with fireworks too, these loud, bright displays that are shot into the night sky can be extremely harmful to all animals. Fireworks can cause animals’ emotional, psychological and physical harm.

Their terror is not a choice – keep them safe and out of harm’s way. If you hear fireworks going off, you can be sure that your animals can hear them too, only they hear them louder and are therefore terrified by them. Please ensure that you keep your animals in a dark room, put the TV on to dim the noise of the fireworks, cover them with a blanket and give them a treat such as a chew or safe toy to play with. Give them plenty of cuddles to reassure them that they are safe. Cats are renowned for scuttling away when the fireworks bang in the sky, they run away from their homes, across roads that can cause injury or even worse, death. Ensure your cats are safely inside and put them in a dark room with a warm blanket and love them to ensure they are safe.

Sadly, Fireworks injure not only animals, but people too. They also cause damage to property and they destroy the environment as well.
Most birds fly away in fright of fireworks and nesting mothers’ endanger the wellbeing of their nestlings when they sometimes cannot find their own nest upon return.

Horses are also flight animals and will do anything to get away from things that frighten them, like fireworks. If stabled, horses are likely to hurt themselves and others while trying to escape.

In support of the campaign “Say No to Fireworks” that the SPCA has initiated, uMngeni SPCA will be holding an Anti-Fireworks display outside Pick n Pay on the 1st November 2014. Please support this initiative if you are in or around the area. Thank you.

Remember, your box of “tricks” (fireworks) is animals’ worst nightmare!

Until next time, take care

Tess Lutman, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Did you know?

Please support our pet food cage outside Pick n Pay – at this time of the year, we get in a huge amount of animals and this food from the trolley is used up very quickly, thank you.

Please support our pet food cage outside Pick n Pay – at this time of the year, we get in a huge amount of animals and this food from the trolley is used up very quickly, thank you.

1) The uMngeni SPCA holds many responsibilities, the most important being to continue caring for the welfare of all animals, great or small. We are always available to assist other SPCAs with disasters in their area. One example, the chicken truck which overturned was in PMB SPCA’S area of operation.

2) We have a very active Outreach Programme. Apart from the sterilisation of dogs and cats, we also improve the living conditions of animals by educating owners on responsible pet care. We average 120 sterilisations per month, we have had to drastically reduce the number of animals sterilised due to a lack of funding. The OKZN sterilisation project has ended, therefore we no longer have access to funds. We are desperate for funds to continue with this vital aspect of preventing cruelty and neglect of animals.

3) Every bit of fundraising we plan and execute is arranged by an Events Committee made up of 12 volunteers that are passionate about animals and believe that through various fundraising events being brought to fruition, raises much needed funds to assist in keeping our doors open to animals in need.

4) We have two talented seamstresses that can take a piece of donated material and make up all sorts of things with the pieces, such as, cushion covers, curtains, bags, quilts, aprons etc. These two ladies donate their time and skills to make these creative pieces for us to sell in our retail shops.

5) We have volunteers that make cards for us, and volunteers that count hundreds of coins for us from our tins that are situated in and around Howick. Not an easy job but one that we are grateful is done by such efficient people who happily volunteer to do this for us whenever needed.

6) Other volunteers walk our dogs that are in our kennels on Saturday mornings and Kitty Cuddlers visit the cats on a Tuesday afternoon, to socialize them and of course, to give them a good scratch and cuddle.

7) At Greendale Spar, on the left hand side as you walk in, there are letter boxes marked with various charities’ names, one being uMngeni SPCA. You can pop your till slip into the box and Spar will donate 1% of your amount on your till slip to us.

8) There are collection tins marked with our label on them, all over town and surrounding areas – even on the Midlands Meander, so if you see one of these tins anywhere, please pop your coins into them, they really go a long way to buying pet food and anything else that animals in our care might need.

9) Fireworks season is coming up and we will be erecting a display thereof outside Pick n Pay on the 1st November. Loud fireworks do affect animals so receiving knowledge on this helps spread the word. It’s unacceptable to let off loud fireworks but bright fireworks without the noise are acceptable.

10) Lastly, we hold an annual street collection in October every year in support of International Animal Week and this year, we raised R7270 from you, the community!

In conclusion, volunteers are truly the backbone of a Society like ours, without them, we are unable to cope with all that needs doing, they are our support network, and when all the wheels are turning, it makes for a fine working team. In saying this, we always need supporters, whether its financially or to assist in various tasks, so if you have a few hours to spare, please let me know. You can email me, Tess, and I will happily slot you in where you would be of most help. Support in terms of financial could be to take out a raffle ticket, or attend an event, or join us as a member of our Society for a small fee and you can then receive an annual newsletter, attend AGM’s and offer to assist us in raising funds, which is an ongoing project.

Until next time, take care
Tess Lutman
PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Animal Cruelty is Unacceptable!


The world can sometimes be a very harsh place for all of us, not least of all, for animals, who cannot speak for themselves nor take care of themselves if held in captivity or outside their natural environments. Domestic animals rely on us to instil security, warmth, nourishment and love on them.

One of the most distressing stories of late was about the helpless giraffe that died while being transported on a Gauteng highway. Can anyone really be so negligent and so cruel as to transport tall animals on an open truck without anyone riding shotgun to check all is well? Surely not? But yet, it happened and it must have been an awful end to the poor giraffe!

Then there’s the story of the trapped dog that howled for two weeks before someone finally tracked him down and rescued the emaciated, desperate animal. Who does that? Why would you do that? To us animal advocates, it is impossibly cruel, almost beyond comprehension.

A woman was recently beaten while trying to stop someone abusing a dog. She said it had been worth it. She saved the dog’s life.

Parading animals in circuses and using them for the sole benefit of entertaining us humans is not okay. Not in any which way or form. Please, don’t support these circuses, rather allow your little ones to see animals in their natural environment such as game reserves and even allow them to sit in the garden at home and watch the birds flitter by in the sky and trees above. There is enough entertainment these days in all shapes and forms so as to let the animals held in captivity to break free from the chains of neglect and abuse.

All animals, great or small have the right to the 5 freedoms in life, as do all human beings. They are just simple freedoms that all living beings should be entitled to. Animals have beating hearts and blood flowing through their veins. They need us to take care of them, nurture them and most importantly, to love them as we do one of our own.

What are the Five Freedoms?

  1. Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition.
  2. Freedom from discomfort.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress

And a sixth…

Freedom to be free

Let’s all stand together and prevent cruelty to all animals that grace this beautiful earth of ours. We CAN make a difference.

On a more positive note: Don’t forget to come along and join in the fun at our annual Spring Fling/Cupcake Day on the 6th September at our Main Street Centre, 39 Main Street, Howick. Bring along your cupcakes in aid of animal welfare and you could win a prize for the “best dressed” cupcakes! A cupcake decorating competition and an icing demonstration will be on the cards too! We still have a few places left for stall holders so book now to avoid disappointment. Call Bronwyn on 033-3306548 for more info on this.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Meet the team

Edith Powell

Edith PowellEdith is a key volunteer who plays a valuable role as Secretary of the Events Committee, Co-Chairperson of the Catering Sub-Committee and also assists in our Library. She is a huge asset to us in every way.