A new initiative to warn pet owners of fireworks displays is being launched by the Bermuda SPCA.

The charity is asking event planners to contact it if they will be setting off fireworks and it will inform all those signed up to dedicated e-mail alerts.

“The noise of fireworks can be incredibly traumatic for some pets, especially dogs,” SPCA shelter chairman Michele Lawrence said. “After almost every fireworks display we see appeals on Facebook from people trying to find dogs that have escaped because the noise frightened them. It is very dangerous for these dogs, and there have even been instances of these panicked dogs being hit by cars.”

Ms Lawrence said one of the island’s larger hotels held a fireworks display recently and put out a warning on Facebook a couple of days before.

“It was incredibly helpful,” she added. “We shared it to the SPCA page, Bermuda Pet Connection shared it to theirs and everyone was informed well ahead of time.

“We would like to provide a centralised system for advance delivery of this information so that people can prepare and safeguard their pets.”

Anyone planning a fireworks display is asked to contact the SPCA, preferably at least 72 hours in advance, on the main number 236-7333 or by e-mailing education officer Jodi Corbett at jcorbett@spca.bm.

Those wanting to receive notifications should also e-mail Ms Corbett, with “fireworks notification” in the subject line, and provide their name and preferred e-mail address.

They will then receive an e-mail with the date, location and time of the event, along with information on how to help protect their pet and keep them calm during the show.

“As it is entirely voluntary on the part of those holding the events to notify us in advance. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to notify the public of every single fireworks display,” the charity added. “But we hope this service will go a long way towards protecting fearful and vulnerable pets.”

By News Staff The Royal Gazette