The RSPCA is issuing advice ahead of this year’s bonfire night for people to consider their neighbours when planning private firework displays.
This year the RSPCA has for the first time set up a reporting page online for concerned animal owners to report fireworks issues to the charity.
By November 3 the charity had already seen 3,118 responses – far more than expected – as we have not yet reached fireworks night. Of the responses 98% said their animals felt fear after neighbours let off private fireworks with no prior warning.
87% of these responses related to dogs, 22% to cats and 5% to horses – some people who have used the reporting system may own more than one animal.
Over the last five years, the RSPCA has received 1,621 calls about fireworks – and it fears this year could be worse if many more people go ahead with displays in their gardens as expected.
Campaigns manager Carrie Stones said: “Owners with nervous animals are already feeling the fireworks fright and we aren’t even at November 5 yet. Sadly every year the RSPCA receives an influx of calls reporting terrified animals who don’t know what is going on during the fireworks season.
“Whilst many of us enjoy fireworks displays, it is important to attend regulated licensed events or if you are planning a home display please do think of those around you and let neighbours know what to expect so they can help prepare their animals. Individual local authorities also have their own rules so it’s important to check what the guidance is in your area.
“There is information on the RSPCA website on how to prepare your pets in advance such as bringing pets inside and providing extra bedding to make a safe haven. We would also advise you to consult your vet if you feel your pet is particularly anxious.”
Although the RSPCA has launched a new online survey to map incidents to help us gain a better understanding of how we can help – for animal welfare concerns and advice people should still ring our cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
The RSPCA has also written to councils across the country to provide a toolkit to raise awareness of animal welfare during this time of year. It includes posters for people with anxious animals to put in their windows and colouring sheets for children.
For more information about the RSPCA’s #BangOutOfOrder campaign and to support our calls for more controls over fireworks displays, as well as guidance on sending a letter to your council please visit our ~BangOutOfOrder webpage here. And to support the FAB Firework Abatement UK, please sign the petition online.
For more tips to help animals during fireworks season, please visit our website.