by R.T. Fitch
“More Companion Animals Run Away During the 4th Than any other Time of the Year…”
Living in an equestrian community it has always been the ‘law of the land’ to ban all types of fireworks at all times of the year for the sake of the horses and donkeys, but of course; there is always a drunk or unsupervised teenager who attempts to press the envelope during the 4th of July. But all in all, we manage to stem the panic at a local level but are not exempt from the pops and booms from neighboring communities and our companion animals end up suffering stress from the surrounding commotion.
Years ago, when we had a quaint little farm in the countryside north of Lafayette, LA we were surrounded my neighboring farmers who would actually aim their aerial assault OVER our property just to watch our horses run as depicted in a story/chapter in our book, ‘Straight from the Horses Heart‘.
Even as I type, today, I have a little boarder collie glued to my desk chair as the pops and bangs from last night are still fresh in her mind. This time of the year I am forced to sleep on the couch with one hand on my best friend, Roxy, to keep her settled during the nighttime explosions. The couch is lower than the bed and she can nuzzle me with her nose when she gets too stressed. Although this sleeping arrangement works well for her it does little for my rest during this holiday weekend.
But someone is doing something about all the noise. Horses, donkeys, cats, dogs, and other companion animals living in the Italian town of Collecchio will now be able to rest a little easier during city-wide celebrations as the local government mandates that only silent fireworks be used out of respect for the critters. Imagine THAT!
The town elders have figure out that more pets are lost, frightened, and stressed during holidays and special events in which fireworks are used in celebration than at any other time of the year. When spooked by a barrage of pops, bangs, and explosions, horses often bolt, running away to escape the blasts. Each year, hundreds of smaller pets such as cats and dogs never make it back home again.
That’s why the town of Collecchio in Italy’s Parma province has passed new legislation that mandates the use of silent fireworks as a way to minimize the fear and trauma equines, cats, dogs, and other animals experience during the celebratory displays.
One Italian company, Setti Fireworks, has already developed a quieter version of the brilliant displays and spectacular light shows, without the accompanying explosive sounds that send pets and wildlife into a panic. Similarly, fireworks companies in the U.S. have been developing quiet fireworks displays in anticipation of the trend toward respecting animals and wildlife expanding world wide…a trend that cannot come soon enough!
An interesting story on Quiet Fireworks: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/science/july-4-fireworks-quiet.html