Fireworks Threaten Animals Mental Health
There is going to be a fireworks show right next to the Camarillo animal shelter.
Please Please Please – any short email will help.
The Honorable Mike Morgan, Mayor Jam McDonald
Vice Mayor Charlotte Craven
Kevin Kildee, Don Waunch
City of Camarillo; 601 Carmen Dr.; Camarillo, CA 93010
ph: 805-388-5307; fax: 805-388-5318
Jerry Bankston, City Manager: email@example.com
Kathy Long, County of Ventura Supervisor
ph: 805-654 -2276; fax: 805-654-2226
The entire story below:
June 30th, 2006
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the oldest animal welfare organization in the Western Hemisphere and our mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. We have recently received numerous complaints from concerned citizens in Ventura county CA regarding the annual fireworks display that is held in close proximity to the county animal shelter.
It is very clear from all the data that has been gathered about the health and well being of animals in shelters that the reduction of stress plays a major role in any comprehensive health care strategy to reduce the incidence of disease transmission. Stress appears in many forms in shelters, as physical, emotional or environmental. Shelters are advised
by veterinary experts to expend as many of their resources as possible to minimize stress in order to keep their animals healthy. While some stresses cannot be eliminated or controlled by management, others can.
One of the stresses that management can control is noise. Noise either in the form of barking dogs, loud machinery or equipment, harsh loud music, etc can have a very detrimental effect not only on the emotional health of the population, but their physical health as well. It is well known that the noise from firecrackers has a devastating effect on many dogs and cats. Many veterinarians must prescribe tranquilizers for the animals, and these are animals in a home where they can be
comforted by their owners, and they still suffer from paralyzing fear and anxiety. For animals in a shelter who may already be debilitated, isolated and alone, the effects are truly frightening, and for some animals, even terrifying.
We would urge the Camarillo Parks and Recreation Dept., the Camarillo, Pleasant Valley, Somis chapter of the Lions Club and the City of Camarillo to reconsider locating their fireworks display to an area where it will have no effect on the animals seeking sanctuary in the shelter. We believe the citizens of the town would enjoy the fireworks much more if they knew the animals would not suffer as a consequence.
Lila Miller, DVM
Vice President, Veterinary Outreach
Shelter Veterinary Advisor
Thank you Dr. Miller, Ginger and President Isabel’s Animal Abuse Commission for barking out about this issue! And Ginger, what’s up with that picture? I’m thinking you were so upset once you heard about the fireworks that you almost fell over! I don’t blame you! I almost fell over too!
Its dogbox time!
Fireworks! Around animals? WHY?!?!? And most especially WHY in a state KNOWN for massive, out of control fires? Maybe it’s time someone pointed out that it’s a lot of bang with a lot of trouble?
I know the Camarillo situation is a professional one with people who are supposed to know how to safely explode (oxymoron alert!) the fireworks. Okay, but what happens if the shelter catches fire? I guess they’ll just have to call in the guys who get paid to clean up their messes, the fire department. And how many innocent dogs and cats will die just because some city officials wanted to make their citizens feel good by exploding mini-bombs over their heads?
Every year lots of people get hurt (and I don’t think we even have accurate figures on the numbers of anumals that get maimed or killed) around these useless, expensive explosive devices. People spend hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars to put on their own special show. The problem is that many of their neighbors, especially their non-human ones, don’t appreciate it.
If you’re reading this blog, my bet is you’ve had to suffer through a night, weekend or longer of neighbors showing everyone that they have bigger and better rockets than everyone else on July 4th or December 31st. (If you live in St. Louis where I do you can make that July 4th WEEK and the WEEK around the New Year).
I grew up in a rural area where a lot of boys (we now call them things like “No Thumbs Bob” and “One-eyed Bill,” made and exploded their own fireworks after they ran out of all the store bought stuff. So I’m not going all citified here but COME ON! These are little, and sometimes HUGE explosive devices, being set off. Do we really want to have these kind of dangerous items around pets and children?
Now some of you are probably saying, “fireworks, aren’t those patriotic?” I guess. I know I thought they were really pretty when I went to the big, professional shows and watched them exploding over my head as a child. And if large organizations want to fund those shows, fine. Just NOT around pets or other at-risk settings.
As for patriotic, isn’t caring about the health and well-being of other species patriotic? Isn’t NOT terrorizing a neighborhood with whizzing, banging, flashing, life-threatening, house-burning small and large explosives patriotic? Do we have to blow things up or make things go boom to be patriotic? I don’t think so. I think we can be much more patriotic when we show we care about others, human and non-human alike!