MANILA, Philippines – As the country prepares to welcome the New Year, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the EcoWaste Coalition on Saturday, December 26, pleaded to the public to show mercy for animals that have to bear the deafening sound of firecrackers and fireworks.
The groups condemned the “acoustical violence” that pets and stray animals suffer during the last hour of the year, when most Filipinos use pyrotechnics and loud firecrackers for revelry.
“Our four-legged friends, particularly cats and dogs, suffer in silence as firecrackers and fireworks of varying intensity are ignited in the belief that such practice can shoo away bad luck and pull in good energy and fortune,” PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera said.
She added: “Cats and dogs are specifically gifted with acute sense of hearing. Pyrotechnic explosions (that humans often take no notice of) can cause trauma to animals.”
According to the groups, trauma due to the loud sounds and noxious fumes can cause animals to lose their appetite, and to have an upset stomach and a confused sense of direction.
The groups gave 9 steps to keep pets trauma-free for the New Year:
- Persuade members of your household to make your home a “no firecracker” zone.
- Politely tell your neighbors not to light or throw firecrackers near your home.
- Exercise your pets during the days leading up to the New Year’s Eve and in the next morning when the festivities are over and the smoke has cleared.
- Give your pets a physical outlet for their pent-up energy due to arousal and stress.
- Manage the environment so it is as relaxing as possible and as less stressful as you can make it.
- Provide your pet with a safe place to take temporary refuge. If possible, allow your pet to stay in a quiet room such as a bedroom.
- Close the windows, put the curtains down and play relaxing music to neutralize the noise from the outside to help your pets feel secure.
- Ensure your pet’s access to drinking water. Make her/him pee or poo.
- Do not yell or laugh at your pet when she/he is cowering or shaking in fear. This is a natural response to a threat that your pet does not understand and cannot avoid.
“We appeal to all New Year revelers to be wary of the safety and well-being of our animal friends and to act compassionately by not lighting firecrackers and fireworks, which are damaging to human, animal and ecosystem health,” EcoWaste Coalition Coordinator Aileen Lucero added. – David Lozada/Rappler.com
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