As Deepavali approaches, volunteers and nonprofit groups are creating awareness of how cracker explosions cause stress among animals. Aside from sharing information and online posts about cracker-free Deepavali, the groups also share tips for dealing with animals this season.
Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) Bangalore will be posting content about the do’s and don’ts during Deepavali on social media, focusing on the welfare of pets and community animals.
Ajay Arjun, Head of Projects and Resources, CUPA, says: “Although many have stopped detonating crackers, some continue to do so, leading to distress in animals. We will be launching the #HappyDiwaliForAnimals campaign, with details of how we can help animals through Deepavali.”
What to do when pets like dogs, cats, and birds are stressed, what community animals go through during a biscuit explosion, and how animals are four times more sensitive to sounds will be some of the talking points.
People are advised to confine stressed animals to a familiar room for a “safe place”.
“If your dog is crate trained, keep it within reach for them to hide in. Cats like to hide in small boxes, so cardboard boxes can be used to create a safe space for them,” says Ajayi.
Keep your pets indoors when the festivities are in full swing. “Take them for walks in the early hours of dawn or late at night, when the crackers have stopped exploding. Can you also
Give them their favorite rewards to distract them, and accompany them,”
Allow pets hiding under the beds to stay there for as long as they wish. “Once they feel safe, they will get out. If there are community animals, let them into your compound or hide under your car. Always check under the car before starting it,” adds Ajay.
The Charlie Animal Rescue Center (CARE) will also publish awareness leaflets online.
“Providing earmuffs for pets, creating a safe space, accompanying them occasionally when crackers go off outside, and leaving the light on are some of the tips one can follow,” says Sudha Narayanan, founder of CARE.
To avoid street dogs being bitten by other breeds, leave room for you
The house is open for them to come and hide. “A lot of biting and burning incidents happen during this time,” she says. Keep bowls of water around, so when you’re feeling frightened, hydration is important. She adds that if you see an animal in distress, contact us.
For small animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, or even cats, poke holes inside cardboard boxes or put them in a cage and cover them with a cloth to make them comfortable. “Our volunteers have already started making these cardboard spaces for animals in our center,” she adds.
Volunteer group FluffyNuts is running a campaign to encourage caregivers to tag their street dogs with reflective collars even if they are
Lost, they can be returned to their lands.
“Out of fear, strays run missing,” says Arundhathi Somaya, co-founder of the group. “These collars should contain details of the area they are from and the contact details of their caregiver so they can be brought back to their street.” Aside from the noise, even the smell of crackers confuses them due to them not being able to find their way
The group sells reflective collars, and one can write said contact details on the collar itself. Educate your neighbors, family, and friends about avoiding loud crackers and pollution, Arundhathi points out.
“Promote green crackers that are less polluting, in case they insist on fireworks,” she adds. Keep water containers for electrolytes outside your home and also on the porches of birds, so they can refresh themselves.
Clear the area of cracker waste as it may be ingested by dogs, cats, or cows while searching in the litter.
“Help an injured animal by taking it to the nearest veterinary clinic or reporting it to local rescue centres,” Arundathi adds.
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