Our dogs have extremely sensitive hearing. Dogs can detect sound within the frequency range of 45–67,000 Hz, whilst we only hear within the range of 20–20,000 Hz. Because of their superior hearing, our pooches are highly vulnerable to shocks caused by loud noises. Sometimes, it can even result to fatal consequences, and this is what sadly happened to Molly.
Susan Paterson, Molly’s owner who is living in Wombwell, South Yorkshire, shared her heartbreaking story of how she lost her eighteen-month-old puppy due to heart attack. According to her Facebook post, her terrier became so distressed of the raucuous bangs of fireworks that she ‘died of fright.’
She also shared her story to the Facebook group Wombwell Wise. The devastated dog owner encouraged other users to sign a petition against fireworks set off outside of organised events. It also urges them to support a group dedicated to stopping random use of fireworks.
Susan’s story gained more than 60,000 shares and conjured over 15,000 reactions from other Facebook users. After the terrible accident, Susan and her family admitted that they are still trying to make sense of what happened.
People on social platforms gave their sympathy to the family by demanding for fireworks to be banned. Countless people who commented on Susan’s post shared that they have signed a petition to ban fireworks selling to the general public. The petition currently has garnered nearly 163,000 signatures. Despite losing their puppy, the Paterson family expressed that whilst Molly may be gone, she will never be forgotten and will live on in their hearts.
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Company Is What They Need
Our presence and reassuring touches help dogs find comfort during fireworks season. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control located in Arizona knows how stressful fireworks can be for pets. Thus, the public information officer, Jose Santiago, sent out a special request intended for volunteers. It appeals them to visit two local shelters to make sure every pooch has company on fireworks night.
The community was extremely supportive of the project and over one hundred people turned up between the two shelters. Some people brought their ukuleles and guitars to play soothing tunes for the pooches. Young children read their favourite story books to their furry pals.
Other volunteers simply pet the pooches gently to reassure and comfort them for a few hours. Jose shared how it made a big difference. Many of the dogs fall asleep whilst the visitors were gently talking to them and stroking them. He added how these speak volumes to how essential human touch is to our furry companions.
Keeping Fright at Bay
The shelter employed other methods to keep the dogs relaxed. Since the booms of the fireworks often trigger a flight response in dogs, every dog was brought back into their kennels before 7 pm.
Other volunteers were spritzing a bit of lavender oil whilst walking around the kennels. The scent of the lavender helps dogs to relax. They played classical music through the speakers as well to distract the pooches from the thundering explosions outside.
The shelter has reportedly received many calls from distressed families trying to reunite with their runaway pooches during fireworks season. Jose reminds pet owners the huge importance of microchipping their pets. If ever they run off after getting spooked by the boisterous celebration, microchips give them better chance to be brought home quicker.
Jose shared that the calming remedies and methods done by the volunteers really helped in preventing the shelter dogs from getting terrified during fireworks season. What started out as a special request became an important event, which the shelter named Calming Canines. This event will be applied again for the next Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.