The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is preparing for a possible spike in lost dogs, as individual firework displays are likely to be more prevalent because of COVID-19 physical distancing measures.
Dozens of pets become lost or injured each year because they are spooked by fireworks, and an increase in backyard fireworks heightens that risk. Dogs in particular fill the OHS shelter in what continues to be a consequence of the loud Canada Day festivities.
“Even very confident and calm dogs can become frightened by fireworks and other loud noises,” says Bruce Roney, OHS President & CEO. “While humans understand what is happening, animals with sensitive hearing have no idea what these booming noises at unpredictable intervals are. They can become very scared, very quickly, increasing the risk that they might try to bolt and become lost. This is why we at the OHS strongly advise people not to take their dogs to firework displays.”
The OHS recommends that pet owners take precautions to protect their pet so that everyone can have an enjoyable long weekend. They suggest that if you are home when fireworks are exploding, you should remain calm and take your pet to a place protected from the noise, like a bathroom, basement or perhaps a crate padded with blankets. Draw your curtains and block all exits. If your pet is used to the television or a fan, you can turn that on to mask and camouflage the booming sounds outside.
“Do your pet and yourself a favour. The last thing you want to do is spend a very worried Canada Day searching for your missing pet,” urges Roney.
Anyone who sees a lost dog is asked to call the City of Ottawa at 311.
Those who unfortunately lose their pets can fill out a lost report at www.ottawahumane.ca/services/
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