Posted: 3.11.10

Firefighters and police officers are teaming up with the RSPCA to support the safety messages on keeping pets and animals safe during the bonfire night period. 

The bang from fireworks can seriously traumatise animals and the RSPCA has some important advice for pet owners and firework display organisers to help everyone - including pets - to have a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night. 

Simon Comley, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team leader and canine handler at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service recently visited the RSPCA centre in Newport to meet the officers who deal with traumatised animals on a daily basis, bringing along Rubin, the USAR dog currently in development.   

Simon said: "As someone who now works closely with animals on a daily basis and as Firefighter, I know how harmful fireworks can be. It is crucial that people look after their pets on bonfire night and follow the guidelines. We advise everyone to attend organised displays rather than setting off fireworks in back gardens, when the dangers to themselves and distress to domestic animals can be heightened." 

Simon was also joined by his colleagues in Gwent Police, PC James Watkins and PC Gareth Gwinne who brought along Police dogs Jack and Rooney. PC James Watkins said: "We at Gwent Police heavily support the messages being issued by the Fire and Rescue Service and the RSPCA on how our communities can keep themselves and their pets safe over the Bonfire Night period". 

Elaine Buchan, Newport Animal Centre said: "We are extremely grateful for the support from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Gwent Police again this year. Many of us enjoy Bonfire Night and love to see and hear the fireworks, however this is not the same for our pets. Pets can become very frightened on Bonfire Night because they do not understand the noise and the bangs. Therefore to keeps pets safe and happy pet owners should keep all pets indoors, shut all curtains and try to keep their pets occupied and have some background noise playing on a TV or radio."