As many prepare to celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight, RSPCA South Australia is reminding pet owners of the risks of fireworks to their animals.
Sensitive hearing makes animals especially prone to stress from loud noises, resulting in
some animals escaping from their homes every year. Sadly, animals are sometimes injured
or killed as they run on to roads or through fences trying to flee the explosive sounds, says RSPCA SA spokesperson, Carolyn Jones.
“We’re really hoping people heed the warnings and take steps to ensure their pets get
through the night without escaping their homes and with minimal stress,” she said.
“We want everyone to start 2024 safe and sound, and that includes all the precious animals in our community.
“The sound of fireworks carries a long way, but those living close to where the displays
are happening need to be especially vigilant because the noise can traumatize animals.”
In metropolitan Adelaide, firework displays are planned for Elder Park in the city as well
as foreshore locations at Semaphore, Glenelg and Brighton. In regional SA, displays are
planned for Victor Harbor, Goolwa, Robe, Point Turton, Port Broughton, Wallaroo, Port
Lincoln and Stansbury.
RSPCA SA advises pet owners to:
- Ensure dogs and cats are microchipped, with up-to-date owner details, and that
they’re wearing an ID tag, should the worst happen and they escape. (Stray animals
coming to RSPCA that are microchipped often have out-of-date contact information
- Ideally, keep pets inside with the windows closed, curtains drawn and sufficient
food and water.
- Where possible, stay at home with pets and reward their good behaviour during the
night by giving treats.
- If pets cannot come inside, double check yards are secure so they cannot escape.
- Exercise and feed pets before the fireworks start, as that will help settle them.
- Consider purchasing a “thunder jacket”. This jacket has a calming effect on some
dogs and helps them feel safe
- Never leave a dog (or any animal) tethered during fireworks as they can panic and
RSPCA SA advises anyone who loses their animal to act quickly, and take the following
- Contact their local council to register their lost pet or see if they’ve been
handed in. (Local councils are listed at www.lga.sa.gov.au/councils )
- Contact local veterinary clinics, including 24-hour emergency clinics.
- Visit their local council pound or animal shelter in person as animal
descriptions online or over the phone can sometimes be vague or inaccurate
- Post a photo and description of their pet (including the suburb where they
went missing) on social media sites such as Lost Dogs of Adelaide and Lost
Pets of South Australia.
- Post on their own social media channels to spread the word amongst their
- Distribute lost posters and flyers around their neighbourhood
Anyone finding a loose animal is advised to try to catch and/or contain the animal (eg: in a backyard), so long as this can be done without endangering anyone’s safety.
If the animal is uninjured, then contact the local council and check the lost pets social media sites (see above) in case the animal’s owners have posted a message.
If the animal is injured, then – provided you can do so without putting your own safety at risk – take it to the nearest available vet or 24-hour animal hospital.
More information on what to do if you’ve lost or found an animal – https://www.rspcasa.org.au/services/lost-and-found/