Guy Fawkes night: How to protect your fur kids
While Guy Fawkes can be extremely fun for us, fireworks displays can be frightening and sometimes traumatic for our pets

Each year, Guy Fawkes night seems to launch two months of fireworks displays as people celebrate the night and continue in to Christmas and the new year.

According to SPCA spokeperson Belinda Abraham, the influx of animals does not happen during fire work celebrations but rather in the days and weeks after the event.

This as a result of the fact that animals became traumatised by the noise of fireworks being deployed and often bolt in fear, covering quite some distance in a short time and find themselves lost and far from home.

In addition to this, we are also aware of the fact that some individuals find it entertaining to attach fireworks to animals, causing terrible trauma and distress. 

What does the law say?

The Animals Protection Act clearly states that “it is illegal for any person to terrify any animal” yet despite the SPCA’s efforts to educate the public on the dangers and legalities of using fireworks and lobbying government for a total ban on the use of fireworks, injuries and trauma to animals occurs each year during fireworks season.

The Firearms and Explosives Ordinance also makes it illegal for any child under the age of 16 to use or buy fireworks and it is also illegal to use fireworks at an undesignated site or sell fireworks without an official permit. 

Yet, despite this legislation, fireworks are still sold indiscriminately from many corner cafés and discharged at home where they pose a potential danger.

The CoGH SPCA’s Inspectorate will once again be on standby to respond to animal emergencies throughout the night of Guy Fawkes, please call us to report any injured or distressed animals on 021 700 4158/59 or 083 326 1604.

Harming an animal with fireworks is viewed extremely seriously and will result in prosecution. Members of the public can also contact the Metro police 24 hour call centre to lodge complaints regarding firework activities on 021 596 1999. 

How do you protect your pets?

The SPCA advises residents living in areas where fireworks will be discharged to adopt the following guidelines to help protect their pets:

  • Ensure all animals have identification; preferably a micro-chip or at least with a dog tag because without identification, the task of reuniting lost pets with their owners will be that much more difficult;
  • If possible, stay at home with them;
  • If you can’t be at home, keep your pets inside and preferably in a room that is safe and secure – create a small den for them with blankets, pillows and a favourite toy;
  • Try and mask any noise by drawing the curtains and playing calming music;
  • Put familiar and comforting things around them;
  • Give your pets a nutritious and balanced meal – this is likely to make them more sleepy;
  • Give them something to chew on – a chewy bone or catnip toys for cats;
  • If you suspect your pet will react badly to fireworks, please seek professional advice from your veterinarian who may prescribe a sedative to help them cope.

Do you have pets you are concerned about? Will you be setting off your own fireworks? Share your thoughts with us by emailing

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