Pet owners furious after firework displays start 'two months early' across Sheffield

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Furious Sheffield residents have hit out over nearby 'nuisance firework displays' starting two months before Bonfire Night.

Residents in Gleadless and Woodhouse have complained about impromptu 'daily firework displays' which began over a week ago.

Despite Bonfire Night falling on November 5, residents have moaned that fireworks are being set off around the area, leaving their pets terrified.

One Woodhouse resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said that she has already begun sedating her dog who is 'terrified' of the fireworks.

She said: "For me, the annoyance is people's inability to understand that Bonfire Night is just that, one night.

"Animal owners, with pets that are so scared that they need sedating, can prepare for one night and we know when it's happening.

"Even when it spreads out to the surrounding weekends it's understandable.

"But when it spreads out and becomes three months of pops and bangs that scares animals it becomes too much."

The Woodhouse resident said that her pet becomes so scared by the fireworks that they begin to 'hurt themselves'.

"We can't go out as it risks coming home to another vet bill if someone has decided that setting fireworks off on random nights of the year is acceptable," she said.

"Italy has quiet and silent fireworks. Why we can't grasp this concept here is beyond me."

Animal charity Blue Cross has stated that every year 'thousands of pets' suffer as a result of fireworks being let off.

A spokesperson said: "Blue Cross animal hospitals across the country see a marked rise in pets requiring medication during such stressful times, and many pets are brought into Blue Cross rehoming centres having run away from home."

They have issued this list of advice for dog and cat owners during firework displays.

• Always keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off

• Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start

• Close all windows and doors, and block off catflaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.

• Ensure dogs are wearing some form of easily readable identification (ID) – even in the house. They should have at least a collar and tag.

• Think about fitting pets with a microchip, so that if they do run away they have a better chance of being quickly reunited with you

• Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where it can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. They may like to hide there when the fireworks start.

• Let your pet pace around, whine, miaow and hide in a corner if they want to. Do not try to coax them out – it’s just trying to find safety, and should not be disturbed.

• Stay calm, act normally and give lots of praise for calm behaviour. It’s OK to cuddle and stroke your pet if it helps them relax, but if they prefer to hide under your bed, then let them do this instead.

• Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you find they have been destructive or toileted after being left on its own. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.

• Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, ie outside a shop while you pop inside, or leave them in the garden or in your car.

• Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if they doesn’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean they are happy. Excessive panting and yawning can indicate that your dog is stressed.