34th Anniv Suppl

Be Kind To Animals: Don’t Light Firecrackers on New Year’s Eve

Dogs and cats hate fireworks.

They pant and shake in panic. They can be a nervous wreck when they hear the loud sound coming from fireworks.

Firecrackers can also cause severe harm to dogs.

Some dogs go after a firework and try to catch them, resulting in injury and even death.

DogTime, in “Fireworks Can Be Dangerous For Pets, noted: “while we humans enjoy small town parades, family barbecues and late night fireworks displays, thousands of pets …will be in a panic. You see, Fido and Fluffy do not understand that the ‘rockets red glare’ and the ‘bombs bursting in air’ we enjoy...are just humans’ idea of (relatively) harmless fun.”

Ace  (white) and Dathir), rescues of Save ALL, play everyday at the home. On the afternoon of Dec. 31, every year, all dogs are urged to play. Some are walked. The physical activity will hopefully make them sleepy during the fireworks display. Hopefully, they will not mind the loud sound. Save ALL has noticed though that with all the measures followed and put up, the dogs and cats are actually calm during and after New Year's eve. 
It noted that dog and cat injuries due to firecrackers  have been recorded during celebrations, thus pet parents are  urged to keep their dogs and cats inside the house during festivities.

DogTime noted that there have been cases of dogs trying to attack fireworks or firecrackers, eat them, catch them or try to play with them.

“In 2010, a dog tried to fetch a lit firework, and the rocket exploded in his mouth. The resulting wounds on the German Shepherd’s  mouth and face were so severe the dog had to be euthanized. Dogs who’ve had run-ins with bottle rockets and mortars have been burned, have damaged limbs and have even lost eyes as a result,” DogTime said.


Colorado veterinarian Eliza Mazzaferro explained that “People toss a firework or firecracker in the air, and the dog jumps up, swallows it, and the firecrackers cause severe damage to the external organs”

It can also cause injuries in less direct ways, Mazzaferro said.

“Pets get anxious and break out of kennels, jump through windows and get lacerations, and when loose, can get hit by cars,” Dr. Mazzaferro said,

Dogs and cats who are very frightened often hurt themselves trying to flee from the unsettling sounds of fireworks.

“I have seen them bite through a metal cage and injure their teeth and gums, and also jump through plate glass windows,” explained Dr. Mazzaferro. “They try to escape the noise, not knowing that it is outside.”

Save ALL, an animal welfare group that rescues animals in need, brings dogs from the open, grassy areas into the house  on Dec 31  where they stay until the smoke has cleared and the areas have been cleaned of "debris" from fireworks. They stay inside usually until noon of January 1.  This is done every year.  The dogs have shirts on to make them feel like someone is hugging them, and  a soft, soothing music is played all night until the next day. Everyday, the same music is actually played morning till early evening at the foster homes to keep them calm, fireworks or no fireworks. In the photo is Ira, a dog who was to be transported to the Payatas pound for euthanasia,  enjoys the sun and the grass.

DogTime noted the sound of fireworks can be worse for dogs in shelters. A building full of terrified dogs is something organizations want to avoid during fireworks display, specifically on New Year’s eve.

Most dogs are terrified of the fireworks’ sound, while some dogs become anxious when they see other dogs in the shelter so traumatized and trembling in fear.

“A November fireworks show near a shelter in the United Kingdom frightened dogs so badly they literally tore out their claws  and ripped up their paws, overcome with terror, scratching at their cages to get free. In the weeks following the display, some dogs were still jumpy, clearly shell-shocked from the ordeal,” DogTime shared.

“…the staff at the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care and Adoption Center  are moving all of the animals in their care inside the shelter building, explains the organization’s animal care supervisor, Erika Gamez,” DogTime said.

Shelter staff will play soothing classical music in the hope of calming down anxious animals.

“Staff will also crank up the volume on some soothing classical music, playing it throughout the facility,” DogTime said.

“It’s a trickle-down effect,” Gamez explained.

Vicky Fletcher, Chief Animal Services Officer of the Yolo Country Sheriff’s Department which serves Woodland, California and other nearby communities, shared they had a lot of panicked animals in the shelter during a fireworks display nearby.

Fletcher recalled: “We had a lot of panicked animals in [the] shelter. It was like bombs going off inside the building. Their ears are sensitive, obviously much more so than ours.”

Fletcher said they take in frightened and injured animals during fireworks display and they expected a lot of stressed-out animals.

“They dig out from underneath fences, they chew through fences, they harm themselves to get away from the sound because they don’t know what it is,” Fletcher said. “All they know is that it’s loud and scary.”

Fletcher said it is best to stay home during fireworks display.

“Dog and cat owners should keep their pets inside, secure and supervised, and just having mom or dad there while the fireworks are going off outside can have a calming effect on scared pets,” Fletcher said.

“If there’s nobody home telling them it’s okay, there’s no comfort zone,” Fletcher explained.

While securing one’s pet or rescued dog or cat, it is best to do the best thing: Keep away from firecrackers. Do not light any firecracker this New Year’s Eve. 

Topics: Dogs , Cats , Firecrackers , New Year’s Eve
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