Dog owner heartbroken as pet put down after fireworks fright

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A dog owner has been left heartbroken by the death of her pet which suffered fits and internal bleeding after a fireworks display. Sarah Frost from Desford, Leicestershire, said her rescue dog Derry had to be put down after this year’s Bonfire Night.

Sarah said: “Derry was my third dog and he was the first who really struggled with fireworks. Until you have a pet who can’t cope with them you really have no idea.

“He was already a nervous and anxious dog. I had tried everything to help him when fireworks were set off, but this time it was too much.”

She explained how the nearby, private fireworks display felt like “bombs going off”, causing Derry to suffer a fit.

The poor pooch was taken to the vet’s, but had a second fit in the car on the way.

He was put to sleep at the surgery to prevent him suffering even more.

Sarah said: “To have lost him like that was just heartbreaking.

“If I can do anything to stop it happening to even just one family, I will.

“There should be restrictions so that fireworks at home should be silent and there needs to be regulation so they are only held on certain days.”


Derry’s story comes as the RSPCA issued a warning ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations about the harm fireworks can cause animals.

People with pets have been urged to plan ahead by with sound-proofing and providing safe enclosures to help reduce firework phobia.

The animal charity has been running its #BangOutOfOrder campaign for some years and is calling on the Government to urgently review firework regulations.

As part of its campaign, a number of local authorities have taken measures to reduce the risk fireworks pose to animals.

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Shelley Phillips, RSPCA campaigns manager, said: “As many of us celebrate the start of 2023, the festivities can also be stressful for many animals – including our pets.

“We’d like to direct those who are worried about their pets to look at our guidance online so they can hopefully undertake some measures to keep their pets safe and to ease their pets’ fear of loud noises.

“From making sure dogs and cats are indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off, to masking firework noises and providing pets with a safe place to hide at all times, it’s so important pet owners plan ahead.

“Small animals living outside should be provided with lots of extra bedding to allow for burrowing, whilst parts of their enclosure could be covered with a blanket to provide further sound-proofing and insulation.”

Horses, farm animals and wildlife can also be disturbed by fireworks.

The RSPCA is urging organisers of events to avoid letting them off near where animals are kept.

Horse owners are also advised to check if there are going to be any firework displays in their area and, if so, to talk to the organisers.

The animal welfare charity also urges people to use lower-noise fireworks.

The RSPCA is also reminding people about the possible dangers of using sky lanterns as part of New Year celebrations.

These can cause injuries to animals which lead to suffering and even a slow, painful death.

Shelley said: “Sky lanterns, commonly known as ‘Chinese lanterns’, present a significant danger to animals, and can cause injuries which lead to suffering and a slow, painful death.

“Risks to animals include ingestion, entanglement and entrapment while lanterns can also cause fire, destroy habitats or damage animal housing and feed.

“The consequences of a lit or hot lantern landing in stables or barns occupied by horses or farm animals surrounded by dry, flammable bedding and forage are truly horrific to imagine.

“Whilst sky lanterns may look pretty, people need to remember that what goes up, must come down so, for animals’ sake, we’re urging the public to give sky lanterns a miss this New Year.”

To support the RSPCA’s #BangOutOfOrder campaign visit the charity’s website.

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