The Animal Welfare Society of SA is very concerned at the sudden increase in small animals that are being admitted with broken limbs. Many of these pets were companions that kept young children “entertained” during the hard lockdown with little to no thought as to the pet’s needs and their suitability.
The shelter has seen and treated a record number of small pets such as hamsters, rats and rabbits with broken and fractured limbs, and has come to the conclusion that almost all of these injuries were caused by robust play and improper handling by overzealous children left to their own devices.
“This is totally unacceptable. Some of our tiny patients have lost eyes whilst others have lost limbs which impact negatively on their quality of life”, says the Animal Welfare Society of SA.
“It is patently unfair that these pets should be paying the price for parental indifference and selfish human gratification”, they add.
In their opinion, the injured patients that the shelter is treating represents the tip of the iceberg as it’s suspected that many of the animals are left to suffer and die only to be replaced, as the cost of treatment can sometimes outweigh the cost of replacement.
“If the novelty of owning a high-maintenance pet like a rabbit or hamster wears off (as is very often the case) or parents notice untoward interactions we would rather that they surrender the pets to us instead of allowing them to suffer and be abused”, the Animal Welfare concluded.
Picture: Facebook / The Animal Welfare Society of SA