We’re right here at the end of year getting ready to say goodbye to 2017. This has been a fine year with so many great things happening for my nonprofit animal welfare group, Central Georgia CARES.
We’ve been able to conduct very successful food drives to support our mission of helping animals and the people who love them. We’ve been able to start our Trap Neuter and Release program with feral cat colonies in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
We’ve been able to sponsor vaccine clinics in senior citizen apartments and help people with their medical care. We’ve been able to spay and neuter pets whose parents had a hardship and needed help. We’ve been able to reunite tons of lost pets with their families.
But there is one thing we haven’t been able to do in 2017 that I’m hopeful we’ll do in 2018. In fact I’m starting this weekend and you can help me achieve my goal.
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That goal is to keep every pet safe and at home during holidays that will include fireworks as part of the festivities. Of course, the New Year’s Eve always includes a big fireworks event.
So far, no matter how thoroughly I remind pet parents that animals do not like fireworks and may react in a way that maybe even the parents have never witnessed, pets still escape during fireworks. And no matter how much warning I give that pets will escape, the parents of the missing pets are always surprised their dog or cat would run away.
I’ve written newspaper articles about keeping pets inside and safe. I’ve written magazine articles about how scary fireworks are to pets. I’ve posted repeatedly on Facebook about how important it is to keep your fur babies inside before the fireworks begin.
Still every year someone will tell me they left dogs outside in a fence while the fireworks were exploding and the dogs escaped the fence. And they thought they would be safe in the fence since they’ve never escaped before.
Fireworks sound like bombs, gunshots, grenades and every other loud scary noise all at once —like an all out war is erupting, even to the most adjusted animals. When that happens they look for any way to get away from the noise.
That’s the part that leaves pet parents perplexed and taken by surprise. Because they don’t believe their devoted pet would ever run away from them or leave the family. The fact of the matter is they’re probably right that, under normal circumstances, their pet wouldn’t leave their family.
But when fireworks are in full throttle, terror overtakes the pet’s ability to think of anything other than running from the noise. Sadly, that’s what many pets do on New Year’s Eve and other holidays celebrated with fireworks.
Please help me make this New Year’s Eve a wonderful night to remember with all pets safely inside being comforted and distracted by loving families during scary fireworks. Then we can all enjoy New Year’s Day with our families instead of out searching for missing pets. Happy New Years!