The Animals Who Suffer When Fireworks Go Off
Dogs, cats, and other animals don’t understand what fireworks are – all they know is that there are loud, frightening explosions, and their instincts kick in, telling them they need to run and hide for safety. These blasts can leave animals confused, disorientated, lost, in a state of severe shock, or even dead.
The five stories below are just small insights into the vast impact that setting off ear-splitting fireworks can have on our animal companions or wild animals – but let them be cautionary tales. Let’s not scare, hurt, or lose more animals for the sake of brief fireworks displays.
Harry the #horse has undergone surgery in north #Wales for “very serious wounds” after impaling itself on a fence after being spooked by “nearby fireworks” in #Holywell#AnimalNews pic.twitter.com/7M3kRcLpn5
— Animal News Network (@Animal_Newsdesk) November 5, 2019
Harry the horse was found impaled on a fence after trying to escape from his enclosure when frightened by a nearby fireworks display. He was seriously wounded and never fully recovered from this traumatic night, having to be euthanised just a month after the incident.
Shared by Charles’ guardian as a stark warning about the effects of fireworks, this video shows what can happen to dogs on Guy Fawkes Night, New Year’s Eve, Diwali, or any other occasion when pyrotechnics are set off.
Charles is seen trembling with fear on his guardian’s kitchen floor, terrified of the bangs outside. His guardian has tried everything from earmuffs to aromatherapy oils, but his extreme anxiety stops only when the noise does.
— News MiM (@I_News_N) November 5, 2019
Suzy the dog went blind after experiencing extreme distress when fireworks were set off on Guy Fawkes Night. She got such a fright that she started “hiding in dark corners” and “climbing the walls”.
The stress caused a lens in her eye to pop, and she now has glaucoma in her eyes and is completely blind.
Spot, the Cat
Spot ran out of the house after being startled by a loud firework explosion near his home. Although he returned the next day, his guardian says that he was “shaking and cowering” and grew weaker and weaker after the incident.
Spot’s guardian rushed him to a vet, who thought he may have been hit by a car, and after his condition worsened, the 1-year-old cat had to be euthanised.
— North East News (@AllNorthEast) October 25, 2016
Shearer was on a beach walk when he became so scared of bangs and flashes from fireworks set off nearby that he ran out into the sea. His guardian camped out for days, hoping he would return. A week after his disappearance, his body washed ashore.
Don’t Let Tragedy Strike – Take Care of Animals During Fireworks Displays
- Never set off loud fireworks, and encourage others to avoid them, too. Animals have far more sensitive hearing than humans do. If you really want a display, opt for noise-free pyrotechnics. These have the same visual effect without the devastating consequences.
- Keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are going off, and if possible, stay with them.
- Close your windows and curtains and turn on a radio or TV to help drown out the noise.
- Make sure that your animal companion is microchipped and wearing a collar with an up-to-date identification tag.
- Be on the lookout for people who tie firecrackers to the tails of dogs and other animals, and report any incidents to the police.
- Keep an eye out for lost animal companions, and look after them until their guardians can be found.
Please share this vital information with anyone you know who has an animal companion.