Tips for safeguarding animals during New Year’s celebration
PEOPLE for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of animals during New Year’s Eve firecracker displays.
To dogs, cats, and other animals, firecrackers must seem more like World War III than a celebration. Many animals go missing because they panic and jump over fences or break chains; animals have even jumped through plate-glass windows in order to get away from the terrifying sounds. Some animals are reunited with their families, but others are never found or are hit by cars or killed in other ways as they flee.
“Firecrackers are a nightmare for both domestic and wild animals,” says PETA’s Rochelle Regodon. “While PETA supports a total ban on fireworks, it’s important to ensure that dogs and cats are safe during celebrations in the meantime.”
Here are precautions to take to help keep your companion animals safe this New Year’s Eve:
Keep cats and dogs indoors in a room where they feel safe during fireworks displays and, if possible, stay with them.
Act happy and calm around scared animals in order to reinforce the idea that they don’t have a reason to be afraid.
Leave your animals at home during the celebrations — never take them with you to watch firecracker displays.
Never leave animals tethered or chained outside.
Close your windows and curtains. Turn on a radio that’s tuned to a classical-music station, or turn on the TV to help drown out the sound of the fireworks.
Watch for stray animals who may be distressed. If you see an animal injured by fireworks, call PETA at 0999-888-7382.
Fireworks displays are also disastrous for wildlife. Besides being frightening, fireworks produce plumes of smoke that are harmful to animals’ respiratory systems and pollute standing water. The California Coastal Commission in the U.S. banned the city of Gualala’s fireworks display after a 2006 show caused nesting seabirds to flee their nests and abandon their chicks. And just this year, fireworks have been blamed for the deaths of approximately 5,000 birds in the state of Arkansas.