The animal management team at the Christchurch City Council is urging pet owners to give their animals special care and attention as firework season fast approaches.
Guy Fawkes on November 5 is the busiest time of the year for the animal management team, as animals are frightened by the loud noises lighting up our skies, sometimes running loose as a result.
Animal services manager Lionel Bridger says it’s an incredibly stressful time for pets and their owners, with animals getting spooked, confused, and in turn roaming around.
“If you often take your dog’s collar and ID tag off when you’re at home, it may pay to leave it on until Guy Fawkes is over so that we have a way of identifying who the dog belongs to,” he says.
Strategies for protecting pets
He recommends keeping pets inside or confined to safe spaces at night during the first week of November. If you’re heading out for the evening, the animal management team recommends organising a family member or friend stay with pets to keep them company.
“Keep your doors, windows, and curtains closed to try and lessen the noise and minimise any flashing lights outside. You can also leave on the TV or radio to distract your pets from what’s going on outside,” he says.
Reuniting owners and animals
“We can normally reunite animals with their owners very quickly if they are microchipped or have an ID/registration tag, so now is a great time to check that we have your contact details correct in our system.”
The contact centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Often the team are able to match a dog to its owner immediately without needing to have them stay in a shelter.
Animal owners should call the Council Contact Centre on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 as soon as possible if their pet goes missing.