'How is this right?' Southland pet owner shares video of dog terrified by fireworks

A Southland woman has shared a video showing the effects suffered by her pet dog after neighbours set off fireworks.

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Amy Jo McMillan’s dog Teka was in the distressed state for more than an hour. Source: Supplied

Amy Jo McMillan's five-year-old fox terrier Teka showed signs of acute anxiety, panting rapidly for more than an hour, after hearing fireworks set off late last night in Gore.

Ms McMillan said she believed many people don't realise that fireworks can have such a serious effect on pets, and pleaded with people to be more considerate.

"It was the third night of the fireworks, so I tried a few things, like I turned the TV up loud and pulled the curtains," Ms McMillan said.

"I even listened to YouTube music - dog soothing music.

"As soon as she hears the first bang, that's it, she just starts shaking and panting like you can see in the video.

"It can't be very good for her heart - she was beside herself for a good three and a half to four hours."

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Firefighters have already responded to more than 40 fireworks incidents. Source: 1 NEWS

She said she wouldn't mind if it were just one night each year, but fireworks were routinely let off for a period of several days each year - not only on November 5.

"It's ridiculous, it's absolutely crazy - a public display of decent fireworks one day of the year would be good.

"For a good week I'm going to have to put up with this - and I'm not the only one who has a dog suffering."

SPCA New Zealand has repeated calls for a ban on private firework sales this year, saying the individual back-yard events are causing most of the problems.

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said every year her organisation receives numerous reports of missing pets, injuries, distress and even animal abuse related to fireworks.

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Todd O’Donoghue told Breakfast there are 200 callouts a year related to fireworks. Source: Breakfast

Auckland Council is currently in the process of lobbying central government for a private fireworks ban after consultation showed an increasing appetite from the public to limit displays to large public events.

However Environment Minister David Parker yesterday told 1 NEWS in a statement that the Government has no plans to change the law.

"Regulations have been tightened in the past to improve safety - including reducing the time they can be on sale, increasing the purchase age and reducing explosive content in fireworks."


- Never let fireworks off close to animals.

- Stay at home with your pet - they will be less stressed with a familiar person nearby.

- Keep pets indoors with the windows closed and curtains drawn.

- Turn up the volume on your radio or TV to muffle the sound of fireworks.

- Give your pet somewhere to hide - an igloo, box or crate.

- Exercise dogs early in the day to avoid being out at dusk when fireworks could be set off.

- Pets should have collars with your contact details and be microchipped in case they run away.

- Don't punish pets for being anxious - this will make it even worse.

- Behave in a calm a reassuring manner, but don't cuddle them too much, as this could encourage anxiety.

- Don't forget small pets like rabbits, guinea pets or chickens.

- People with pets who have very severe reactions to fireworks should speak with their vet.

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