Trinidad fireworks… and their collateral damage

Dog injured from fireworks
Dog injured from fireworks. Photo courtesy Animal Welfare Network

This is something someone on the Animal Welfare Network (AWN) Facebook Page  just posted, and part of what gets me so angry about Trinidadians’ excessively setting off fireworks (often illegally, since it’s against the law to do so within the municipal boundaries of cities like Port of Spain and San Fernando, which often include suburban areas like mine that people try to pass off as outside the cities).

Here’s what happened to this person and her pets, despite all efforts at safeguarding their health:

Like many others, I went out on New Years Eve – after many years of giving sedatives to my pets and keeping them inside without a problem – took for granted that this year would be the same, after all, for the last week the neighbourhood has been a “war zone” of noise starting from 11am (that’s right, 11 in the morning) to midnight – even 2am – so I sedated my dogs (heavily) – put them inside, closed 2 gates in my kitchen/breakfast room – closed the doors and window and left my now sleeping sedated dogs and went to a friend’s house. I came home at 2.30 am to find one of my dogs stuck in the burglar proofing, he had gotten through 3 sets of bars and had found himself stuck between a 3 inch bar – blood everywhere, his tongue bitten with a 1/2 inch slice on the side – his face swollen so he could hardly breathe – I then rushed him to the vets – (driving I passed 3 dead dogs and 2 running dogs (that could not be caught) while heading to get emergency service) and spent until 5.30 am trying to treat his injuries – he is now on drips in a hospital section – He will be there for days if all goes well – in pain, and under medication. I give this story because I know I am not going to be the only one who has to deal with the results of fireworks – So, I go back to the original question, who do I send the bill to? – The Gov. who grant the licence to companies who know full well they are “skirting around the law” with legal “loop-holes” – fully aware that most of the fireworks sold will not be used outside of residential areas, the police so overburdened with fighting crime that they consider illegal firework use to be un-important in the scale of things, the people who use fireworks in residential neighbourhoods, or, the people who just sit back and allow their fellow neighbours to break the law without saying a word….while I don’t want to stop anyone making an honest living, I have to ask myself, how much is an animal’s life worth?…the answer…obviously not a lot…I also have to say, we can’t assume that all will be well – so next year…home, sweet home.


Take a look at this photo album for more on the impact of fireworks on frightened animals besieged by the explosions for weeks on end.

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