Christchurch pet owners warned to safeguard animals as firework season approaches

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 24, 2023 |

Photo: Squarespace

Christchurch City Council’s animal management team is urging pet owners to take special care of their animals as the firework season approaches.

Guy Fawkes on 5 November is typically the busiest time of the year for the animal management team, as they deal with animals on the loose after being frightened by the loud boom of fireworks.

Animal Services Manager Lionel Bridger said “this time is incredibly stressful for pets and their owners, with animals getting spooked and confused by the loud noise of fireworks which can often prompt them to run away.

“If you have pets, we recommend keeping them inside or confined in a safe space at night during the period which fireworks are available, which is from 2 to 5 November. 

“Keep your doors, windows, and curtains closed to try and lessen the noise and minimise any flashing lights outside. You can also leave on the TV or radio to distract your pets from what’s going on outside,” says Mr Bridger.

“If you’re heading out for the evening, we recommend organising to have a friend or family member stay with your pet to keep them company.”

Mr Bridger said the team is kept busy on Guy Fawkes collecting roaming animals.

“If you often take your dog’s collar and ID tag off when you’re at home, it may pay to leave it on until Guy Fawkes is over so that we have a way of identifying who the dog belongs to.

It’s important to keep an eye on the weather when setting off fireworks, especially with El Niño incoming.

If it’s windy and dry, don’t light fireworks.

Find tips on how to safely celebrate the fireworks season on the FENZ.

“We can normally reunite animals with their owners very quickly if they are microchipped or have an ID/registration tag, so now is a great time to check that we have your contact details correct in our system.”

Animal owners should call the Council Contact Centre on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 immediately if their pet goes missing.

“The Contact Centre is open 24/7, and the team is often able to match a dog to its owner straight away without them needing to stay at the shelter,” says Mr Bridger.

“We want to make sure we can get your animal home safe and sound as soon as possible.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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