British Columbia

Animal lovers prepare for Halloween fireworks as SPCA advises keeping pets at home

The B.C. SPCA says it often sees a spike in the amount of animals that end up at its shelters, having run away after being spooked.

B.C. SPCA says it sees spike in number of animals in shelters after they have been spooked and run away

Lori Chortyk of the B.C. SPCA advises keeping pets in a quiet place at home Halloween night. She says pets often get distressed by people in costumes as well as the continuous ringing of the doorbell. (Adam Carter/CBC)

It's that time of year again, when the booms and whistles of fireworks can be heard around Vancouver. And as with every year leading up to Halloween night, animal lovers are sounding the alarm over the harm those noises can cause.

Lori Chortyk, community relations manager of the B.C. SPCA, has seen first hand the distress fireworks can cause animals and says that's why she supports a full ban on the pyrotechnics.

"It's really fun and we get that. Our role as the B.C. SPCA is to speak out on behalf of animals who cannot speak for themselves," she said.

Puppies at B.C. SPCA shelters are often spooked on Halloween night. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

She says the organization often sees a spike in the amount of animals that end up at its shelters, having run away after being spooked.

"It's very frightening and sometimes dangerous for animals," Chortyk says.

Two years ago, a dog that was spooked by a firecracker and ran away from an East Vancouver neighbourhood was eventually hit and killed by a SkyTrain.

'They don't want to eat'

Wendy Cathcart says the horses at the Laura Lynn Equestrian Centre in North Vancouver won't be groomed or ridden tonight because their behaviour is too unpredictable.

"They get very nervous," said Cathcart, the centre's manager.

"Some of them get very anxious and they'll be pacing and they don't want to eat."

Wendy Cathcart manages the Laura Lynn Equestrian Centre in North Vancouver. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Cathcart says she will close all the stable doors and windows and put on classical music in hopes of drowning some of the loud bangs and booms out.

Keep your pets inside

Chortyk says that it's a good idea to keep your pets home Halloween night and try to keep them in a quiet place. She says pets often get distressed by people in costumes as well as the continuous ringing of the doorbell.

"Don't take them out trick-or-treating, don't take them out to any fireworks displays," she said.

And if you know your pet gets anxious with all the extra noise and commotion of Halloween, Chortyk says that a veterinarian can often prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to be used for the night.

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