Fireworks can cause pets to be too frightened to go outside to the toilet and can cause pets to injure themselves after jolting due to the shock. Pyrotechnics can even cause fatalities.
Animal charities are urging people to rethink using colourful pyrotechnics for New Year’s Eve celebrations this year.
They advise people if they are planning a display, to use low noise fireworks and let neighbouring pet owners know in advance.
Cheltenham Animal Shelter said it can sound like it is in a “war zone” with the number of fireworks being used locally.
Rosie Taylor-Trigg, an animal behaviourist for the charity, said the increase in the number of private firework displays is leaving animal charities dealing with a “crisis”.
She said: “This a big, big problem… it is becoming a real crisis.”
The RSPCA has also received more than 10,000 firework complaints since October.
The charity said that in Wiltshire in November, a deer died after becoming stuck in a fence when it was spooked by a display.
Both charities said they have noticed a rapid increase in private firework displays after organised events were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
Ms Taylor-Trigg pointed out that at-home displays can have a knock-on effect on both your households pets and general wildlife.
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She said: “When people are doing displays at home, they are terrifying multiple animals – wildlife and pets – and there is also a human impact, if you are watching your beautiful animal in huge distress – self-harming, biting their fur out – it is a huge issue.”
She also added that people should “think about the bigger picture” when deciding whether to use fireworks.
She said that although many households will think “it’s only one set of fireworks… hundreds of households are thinking the same kind of thing.”
Ms Taylor-Trigg added: “Around the animal shelter, it sounds like we are in a war zone, all the houses around the area are letting off fireworks and it is so loud, so remember just one display does have a huge impact.”
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In October, the RSPCA set up an online reporting page specifically for fireworks.
The page, which was launched for the first time this year, has received 10,694 reports of incidents involving fireworks.
Of these reports, 96 percent said their animals were scared after people in neighbouring properties had let off private fireworks with no prior warning.
Though 87 of these responses were related to dogs, it’s not just them that have been affected by fireworks.
Of the responses received by RSPCA, 22 percent were related to cats, 7 percent to small furries and 6 percent to horses.
Carrie Stones, campaign manager for the RSPCA, said that firework displays can be “distressing” for the animals, and can cause beloved pets to panic.
She said: “Sadly this year we have again heard many distressing stories of dogs, cats, horses and wildlife left in fear due to fireworks.
“You can get incidents where a dog will panic, you have them fleeing in fear, or if they are at home, they can be sat in the corner pouting, salivating, it can be quite distressing for them.”
Ms Stones said that “ideally” they would ask people not to use fireworks at all, but that instead if people do want to put on a display they can look for low noise options and let local neighbours know of any plans.
While Anj Saunders, deputy manager of the RSPCA Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre in Leigh added: “It’s very frustrating for those of us who look after animals to see the effects of fireworks, and especially those which are set off totally irresponsibly near animals.”