Fireworks don’t work for Hume dogs

Hume City Council will not issue any infringement notices to owners of registered dogs that are impounded due to fireworks between Christmas Eve and 7 January 2016, Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, announced today.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume understood that some dogs could leave their property because they were spooked by the sound of illegal fireworks or thunderstorms.

“Our local laws officers are aware of the increased number of dogs that are taken to animal shelters throughout December and January, with illegal fireworks often being the cause,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“Dogs have very sensitive hearing and a pet that may normally appear quite placid could become frightened because of fireworks, and jump a fence which is usually high enough to secure them.

“While it can be difficult to predict when a neighbour will let off illegal fireworks, owners should do everything they can to ensure their dogs are safe and secure inside their property.

“I encourage residents to keep their dogs indoors overnight if possible, so it is harder for the pets to escape.

“Keep windows shut, close curtains, and put on some music so that the sound of fireworks is less obvious to a dog.

“Establish a place where your dog or cat can hide and perhaps put some toys there, because it may help the animal to feel that they are in a safe area.

“Some pets like to go behind the sofa or under some furniture, and it’s important that you don’t coerce a scared dog or cat away from these safe places as that could stress them more.

“Talk to a vet because they may be able to prescribe medication which helps to relieve the anxiety suffered by your pet.

“And if you own a small animal that lives outside in a pen or an aviary, consider whether you could cover the cage with a blanket so that it is more sound-proof, but leave a hole that enables your pet to look out.”

All Hume residents should make sure that their dog or cat is microchipped, registered, and a wearer of its current registration tag, so that the animal may be returned if it disappears.

Cr Patsikatheodorou warned people not to play with fireworks across the summer period.

“While the sound of fireworks scares pets, it is also illegal and very dangerous to set them off,” she said.

“People can be seriously injured by fireworks, and their loud noise can upset many residents of a neighbourhood.

“I call on anyone with information about illegal fireworks to contact Victoria Police.”

Further information on how to care for a pet across all months of the year is available here.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said she wished all pet owners a very Merry Christmas.

“The festive season should be a great time for animals, and I’m sure that many residents of Hume will be keen to give their pets a Christmas treat this year,” she said.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 17 December 2015

Updated : 12:04 PM, 17 December 2015

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