Hyderabad: While we all celebrate Diwali with fireworks and crackers, animals are the ones that get adversely affected by loud noises and firecrackers the most. Young people occasionally bust crackers near dogs, taking vicarious pleasure in seeing them bolt away in scare. Veterinary hospitals say animal injury cases have not reduced much in the past year and experts ask people to keep a close eye on birds and stray and pet dogs and ensure against cruelty to them.
Every Diwali season, animals and birds are left to deal with loud bangs of crackers. The high decibel of firecrackers hurt the ears of animals and birds. Besides the loud sound, light and smoke emitted by crackers too affect animals. People owning pets will know how they get scared, anxious, confused and start to panic with the sound of crackers.
Ruthvika K, speaking on how their dogs are scared during Diwali, says, “I have a Great Dane, and my dog runs under the bed and hides to avoid the noise of crackers being burst outside my house. He shivers and jumps on me and wants me to hold him. They avoid eating food and also become aggressive.”
Amala Akkineni, the founder of Blue Cross of Hyderabad, said to the pioneer that stray dogs normally run away to find shelter and hide, but the bigger risk is to pet animals at home. She says, “Strays usually get to go hide away somewhere they feel safe, they are survivors. It’s the pet animals left out in gardens, tied on roadsides, or in basements and on terraces that could die of trauma and shock. I appeal to all pet owners to keep their pets inside their house and get some homeo or bach flower remedy drops to give to pets in water to keep them calm.”
Dr Venkateshwar Reddy, Chief Veterinary Officer in GHMC, says many strays and birds get injured by firecrackers. To avoid this, a few precautions must be taken like ensuring fireworks are not lit close to animals and crackers are burst away from residences, ideally on open grounds.
“Every year, we are on special alert during Diwali and keep a close watch for injured animals. People can reach us on number 9989930397 to help keep animals safe,” he says.
Talking about stray dogs, there have been many incidents where videos are put up on social media of crackers being tied to dogs’ tails and lit up. This is cruelty at its worst. Social activists ask people to stand up for animals during such times and report such cases.
Shalini C of Animal Heroes, Youngistaan Foundation, says, “We get so many cases of injured animals, and we reported a few cases last year. If people spot on the road any dog in trouble they can reach out to us or call the police.”
MEASURES THAT CAN PROTECT ANIMALS
- Keep crackers away from animals
- Pets should be kept inside the house — or in a room with some music or TV on – and not in compounds or terraces to protect them from loud noises
- Animals have a far sharper sense of hearing than humans so the noise of crackers has a terrifying effect on them. If possible, cover the ears of the animals, buy some ear muffs
- Noise from crackers and even the sight of fire scare animals, especially dogs. They generally try to hide under the bed. But if they are very disturbed, they may bite people. The most common effects of the noise are aggressive behavior, fear, loss of appetite, salivation, and defecation inside the house
- Keep windows shut and curtains drawn to mask sounds and flashes from fireworks
- Keep pets inside houses and get some home or bach flower remedy drops for the pet’s water to keep the animals calm l If you spot and injured animal, rush it to a hospital