Dog hit by car after running into road when it was spooked by fireworks

Penny at home with Sandra
Penny at home with Sandra (Picture: Vets Now)

A dog owner is calling for a firework ban after her dog almost was almost killed when it was spooked by one going off.

Sandra Rolfe’s pug spaniel cross Penny – a rescue dog who was scared of almost anything when she took her in – was seriously injured after being hit by a car when she bolted into the road. Sandra said: ‘People were letting off fireworks and the noise was just awful. Penny was terrified and it was like she was back to how she was when I first rescued her from Green Acres dog rescue charity in Pembrokeshire.

‘Her jaw was shaking and she was panting heavily. I drew all the curtains and turned up the sound on the TV to try and distract her.

‘About 8.30pm the noise had finished for a while so I went outside and checked very carefully to make sure I couldn’t see or hear anything.

‘Then, just as I was letting her out onto the lawn as normal to do a pee, a banger went off what felt very close by and Penny bolted.

‘I was beside myself with worry and I was calling and calling on her but she didn’t come back.’

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Penny, the dog who was hit by a car after being spooked by firework noise
Luckily Penny’s injuries could be treated quickly (Picture: Vets Now)
Sandra, who lives in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, was getting into her car to look for Penny when someone a few streets away called to say Penny had been hit by a car. Sandra said: ‘Thankfully I had my mobile number engraved on a tag on Penny’s collar and the people who found her, wrapped her in a blanket and called me.’

‘When I got there poor Penny was in such a state – she’d lost a tooth, she was shaking and she was trailing her hind leg.’

Sandra rushed her to an emergency vet who checked her over and gave her pain relief.

Penny was well enough to go home, but when the fireworks started again the following day Sandra had to take her to her vet to get sedatives.

Sandra and Penny, who is now recovering at home
Sandra and Penny, who is now recovering at home (Picture: Vets Now)

Sandra is so anxious about this year’s fireworks season that she is thinking of sending Penny to live with her daughter in a quieter area for the first week of November.

She is also supporting calls for retailers to stop selling fireworks.

Sandra said: ‘I don’t want to stop anyone’s fun – but something needs to be done to restrict firework sales.

Why do they do that? When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.

Fireworks are so noisy now – they just seem to get louder and louder – and it’s not fair on pets who have such sensitive hearing.

‘Aside from organised displays, it shouldn’t be possible for people to buy as many fireworks as they like and just run around the streets letting them off without a thought for others.’

Penny is still scared of loud noises after her ordeal
Penny is still scared of loud noises after her ordeal (Picture: Vets Now)

With fears that there will be more private displays this year as big events have been cancelled due to coronavirus.

Dave Leicester from Vets Now where Penny was treated, said: ‘Fireworks can be hugely distressing for pets, livestock and wildlife, especially when they’re let off unexpectedly.

‘They are also too noisy and too easily available. To reduce the distress caused to pets we urgently need supermarkets and other retailers to take action and stop selling fireworks for private use.

‘We believe fireworks should only ever be used by professional operators in organised displays around traditional dates, such as bonfire night.’

A petition has been launched calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks.

The RSPCA have estimated that 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks, and with a surge in puppy ownership during this year’s lockdown, vets are also concerned that many new pet owners might not be aware their pet is scared.

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