As the festive season rapidly approaches, animal welfare organisations, law enforcement bodies and animal lovers once again appeal to all community members to not use fireworks during the holiday season.
Animals become confused and panicked, and shelters see a spike in the number of admissions after fireworks displays. “During the last two festive seasons our campaign was very successful as the vast majority of members of the community heeded our call to desist from using fireworks,” said Romano van der Spuy, chairman of the Hartbeespoort community policing forum. The community is reminded that many pets get frightened and annually a large number of pets go missing after fireworks have been detonated. “Besides being detrimental to animals, domestic and wild, fireworks also create a serious fire hazard to thatch rooves and lapas as well as to open grasslands. They are extremely harmful to both domestic animals and wild animals including birds. Animals become very disorientated and can injure themselves or run away. Fireworks can cause serious injury to people including children. It is also disturbance of peace,” he said. “Please consider your environment and your fellow community members and animals by not detonating fireworks this festive season.” For animal lovers, prepare for possible fireworks displays. It’s not uncommon for dogs to break through windows and screen doors or dig under fences in a panic. Prepare your home and animal companions before the event: Distract your cats and dogs by giving them lots of love and attention. Play some soothing background music or turn on the TV. Close the curtains or blinds. Make sure that all your animals are wearing collars with current identification tags and that they’re microchipped.