How New Year revelries can be a better time for pets

December 31, 2021 - 5:34 PM
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Fireworks by the bay
Fireworks display near a body of water. (Creative Commons/File photo)

Animal welfare organizations discouraged the public, especially pet owners, from using fireworks to welcome the New Year.

They pointed out that firecrackers can be traumatic and harmful to dogs, cats and other pets because of their sensitive senses.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) on December 30 advised keeping pets indoors during the conduct of firework displays.

“Keep your pets indoors on New Year’s Eve. Your pet’s sharp ears might be a blessing in most cases, but over the holidays they are a curse,” PAWS said.

The animal welfare group cited a shelter dog named Lopez as an example of how firecrackers could frighten animals.

“Shelter dog Lopez (dog in photo), for instance, can hear sounds from distances over four times further away than what humans can hear. To Lopez, a firecracker going off in a neighbor’s yard will sound like it’s going off right beside his head!” PAWS said.

Dogs have at least 400% far more sensitive hearing than humans.

“Imagine how terrified they will be once fireworks start going off. Please be sensitive to your pets’ needs and keep them indoors as we ring in the New Year,” PAWS said in the infographic.

The group thus appealed to pet owners and other people to be considerate of their fur-babies during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“The combo of bright lights and loud noises, while exciting to humans, is downright terrifying for cats, dogs, and any other pets,” PAWS said.

“Please appeal to your family, friends and neighbors not to use firecrackers. Please keep all your pets indoors as we ring in the New Year,” it added.

In the comments section, social media users expressed concern over the welfare of stray dogs and cats.

“Akala ko ba bawal na yan paputok. Kawawa mga stray. Sana hulihin mga nagpapaputok,” one user said.

“Ang naiisip ko lagi every new year yung mga stray (sad emoji) Kaya ayoko na din mga paputok na yan,” another user added.

The Animal Kingdom Foundation also shared a post with a similar call.

The post which was from Facebook user Emmy Karnot contained a series of infographics that stated fireworks displays are fun for humans, but not for animals.

“NO TO FIREWORKS. Animals also deserves a HAPPY NEW YEAR. We can still celebrate new year without fireworks,” the user wrote.

Animal Ethics, a non-profit organization that promotes animal ethics in the world, listed on its website the main reasons how fireworks can cause harm to most animals.

  1. Physical damage to the hearing organs of animals
  2. Fear and stress
  3. Harmful effects by chemical particles

Reminder on the fireworks ban

The individual use of fireworks is banned in the Philippines since 2017 by virtue of Executive Order 28 also known as “Providing for the Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers and Other Pyrotechnic Devices.”

The conduct of firework shows is allowed only if it qualifies as a community fireworks display.

As of December 31, the Department of Health recorded four additional fireworks-related injuries, thus bringing the total to 30.

DOH previously encouraged the public to utilize household items to usher in 2022 instead of setting off firecrackers.

READ: Instead of fireworks, DOH advises Pinoys to use household items to welcome 2022