Canada Day fireworks: How to protect pets

Canada Day fireworks: How to protect pets

As communities in BC prepare to mark Canada Day with festivities and fireworks, animal advocates are reminding the public to be mindful of the impact on animals.

“It’s a terrifying experience for an animal because we have to realize that they don’t know what’s going on and they hear loud bangs,” Charlotte Ellice of the BC SPCA told CTV News.

She said every year, animals end up hurt and run away from home after being scared by the explosive noise.

“There are animals that are injured. There’s a high increase in strays that find their way into centers who have started. We’ve had animals run through doors through windows,” she explained.

Ellice urges pet owners to keep their pets inside, if possible.

“Keep them in a space that makes him feel safe. You can turn on the music to make it a little louder if necessary and I keep them as comfortable as possible. Sometimes closing the blinds, the curtains can certainly help,” she said.

In May, the Port of Vancouver announced that the Vancouver Canada Day fireworks at Canada Place have been permanently canceled due to rising costs, while other cities aren’t holding events due to wildfire risks.

Some of the cities that will be moving forward with a Canada Day fireworks display include Victoria, Kamloops, Burnaby and Surrey.

“We’ve had it every year. We’re aware of the conditions and the site and the hazards that exist. Our plan is in place and is operating quite well and safely,” said Surrey Deputy Fire Chief Jason Cairney.

If you’re thinking of setting off your own fireworks, think again, as most municipalities in the province require people to have a permit and impose hefty fines for those who violate municipal bylaws.

“I think that the use of consumer fireworks by non-professionals is quite dangerous and shouldn’t be done within the city of Surrey for sure,” Cairney said.

He recommends people watch the professional show instead.

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