Light Up and pets don’t mix

Rob Johnson lists the various reasons why its in a pet owner's best interests to leave their pets at home during Light Up.

Editor:

The Festival of Lights and the Town of Ladysmith have been encouraging pet owners for years to take into consideration the well-being of their pets and the safety of the public by asking pet owners not to bring their pets to the parade and the fireworks.

The SPCA has issued warnings and suggestions to the public about the problem of mixing fireworks and loved pets, such as this one from the Salt Spring SPCA: “Statistics show that over 65 per cent of cats and dogs will hide during fireworks,” says branch manager, Sean Hogan. “The colourful and dazzling displays that we all enjoy often come with a great boom and bang that unfortunately can be super scary to animals; many dogs and cats go missing the night of fireworks.”

Securing your pet at home in a quiet, familiar surrounding, including bringing cats in early for the night, can help prevent animals being scared unnecessarily.

“You may also be preventing a dog bite, too,” says Hogan. “Many dogs may bite people when they are scared, even if it is not their normal to nip or bite.”

Light Up night is a mass of pushing people, loud noises and shrill sound from the wail of fire tucks and police cars and the explosion for fireworks for 20 minutes. Is this the environment that you want to take your pet into? Scared animals often react in a defensive manner that can lead to bites and nips in the presence of so many small children, especially in strollers that are often at dog height — there is potential for an unfortunate accident.

With the crowds three or four or more people deep, your pet could be stepped on.

What if your pet has a bowel movement in the crowd? Will you be unable to pick it up before it is trampled on? As a result it could be spread on the area children often sit to watch the parade.

In short, fireworks and pets don’t work.

Rob Johnson

Ladysmith