Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Illegal Fireworks Can Kill Family Members, Whether You Know It Or Not


Twice a year dog owners take the time to brace themselves for the inevitable idiocy of private citizens firing off illegal or other fireworks in their neighborhood streets. More times than naught, someone, somewhere, no matter how prepared, pays the price when an ill-timed surprise boom goes off from the house down the street and scares their family pet.

On a few occasions, I have been a peer or neighbor of such a tragedy and of late, I found a neighbor's dog after it was startled by an illegal firework. But in this case, what I found were remains of their pup on the the nearby freeway. The header image is all that I dare post, the rest was just too much to bear or look at again.

I did not appreciate the ass-hat who set off the firework that petrified this poor pup to charge head on, out of fear, to wherever her feet would take her. I did not appreciate having to look closely at the remains of this poor victim of stupidity.

What tore my heart out was when we contacted the owners and watched their grief come forth as they confirmed it was indeed their pup, the love of their life, laid out there between freeway lanes. And with them, my heart broke for them and while they stood in shock, I cried for them.

All because of an illegal and "fun" firework that was set off.

This isn't the first time I've been privy to someone I know losing a dog to fireworks and it probably won't be the last time.

When a pup gets scared, it runs. It does not use its brain. It does not use its training. It does not use habit. Nature takes over and they just all out, run and run and run. Logic goes out the window. Normal reasoning is gone. It's the fear that takes over and drives them until they're exhausted. They don't look, they don't slow, they just run.

And when all is said and done they are either lost because they don't remember how they got where they're at, or in the worse case scenario, their running crosses a busy highway that has no sympathy for the terrified furry creature skittering across 70 MPH traffic.

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There are a few things we can all do to try and minimize the horrors of illegal and legal fireworks.

-Stay in touch with your community to know when a neighboring high school or city business might be having  a fireworks display. It's not always on July 4 or New Year's Eve.

-Prepare a few days before and after the big days by being extra vigilant and paranoid in order to keep your pup safe.

-If you are one that hits an animal on the road, for crying out loud, pull the f' over and report it to the police or on a local neighborhood Facebook page. At the worse, they at least can ID the pup and possibly report to the owners so the frantic family does not keep searching day in and day out.

-How about resisting the urge to set off illegal fireworks in your neighborhood? Have a caring moment and figure out that there are dog owners in your neighborhood. Sure, you had your fun with your little bang, but do you have any clue what your neighborhood dog owners are going through, trying to now calm down their terrified pup in their house, or trying to cajole and catch their dog, if your timing is just all wrong?

-Call the cops when illegal fireworks are going off in your neighborhood. You just might be saving a life. (If they respond that is.)

-Make sure your pup has a collar with his/her name and your phone number on it.

-Chipping a pet is such an invaluable tool and one that can reap the benefits of saving a lost pup. We hear too many tales these days of families reunited because of installed chips.

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So yea, while some of you might be giddy while setting off your fireworks out in front of your house, there are many around your location that are being frightened out of their wits because of the noise you are creating. And because of your moment, too many fur-parents lose their loved ones and you set them on a course of fear, anxiety, hope and/or loss. Because of you.

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Now, our friends have nothing but their memories and photos of all the great times they had with their pup. Memories that that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

The other day this song made us think of this pup and her family.

In dedication to Nova, Dana & her husband... We were sorry to give you the news, but we understand your gratitude in knowing...  -Bruce


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