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PDSA warn of New Year firework trauma

GSD Sparkles with Veterinary Nurse Karen, with the metal key he bit through.

VETS AT Brighton PDSA PetAid hospital are warning pet owners about the dangerous effects fireworks can have on pets, after treating a Newhaven dog who was left so frightened at the noise of fireworks, he trashed his owner’s living room and sustained a severe leg injury in the process.

Petrified two-year-old German Shepherd, Sparkles, ripped out a fireplace, bit through a metal key, ripped at doors, knocked over the TV and broke a glass cabinet. In his blind panic he cut his leg and required emergency treatment at Brighton PDSA PetAid hospital.

Surprisingly, the incident didn’t take place during the evening, but early on a Sunday morning when fireworks were let off close to Sparkles’ home while his owner was out.

PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Jonathan Gravestock said: "Poor Sparkles was in a terrible state when we saw him. He was covered in soot from ripping out the fireplace and trying to hide in it. He had a badly cut paw and a sore muzzle from ripping frantically at the furniture."

Jonathan’s team attended to his leg which required skin staples. He continued: "His injuries could have been much worse. We were very surprised that his teeth weren’t broken from chewing the metal key. A slight coating of metal has remained on his teeth, which goes to show just how hard he was chewing it."

Sparkles’ owner, Jayne Smart, commented: "I am always with Sparkles in the evening, especially during November when fireworks are going off as he’s always a bit fearful. I had only been out of the house a short time that morning and I just couldn’t believe the scene that met me on my return. A neighbour told me that fireworks had been going off and I knew straight away that they were the cause of the problem.

"My daughter named him Sparkles because he has a really bubbly and sparkly nature. It’s taken a while, but his sparkle is back and thankfully he doesn’t seem at all troubled by what happened."

Jonathan added: "The noise of fireworks can really shock pets causing them to become disorientated and frightened, as in Sparkles’ case. They are being used more and more frequently, not just on 5th November. The next occasion will be New Year so pet owners need to plan ahead now to protect their pets."

To help owners, PDSA has produced a new pet care leaflet, ‘Fireworks and Pet Safety’ which is available from PDSA PetAid hospitals and PDSA charity shops nationwide.


Anti -fireworks campaigner Theresa Kulkarni has launched a petition calling upon the Government to Amend the Fireworks Laws in order to:

1. Restrict fireworks to licensed organised displays only at certain times of year

2. To include Garden Fireworks in the restricted category

3. To reduce the decibel limit to a maximum of 85db for all fireworks including display fireworks

4. To make it illegal to use or possess fireworks without a valid licence

l To help download a petition form and write to Theresa about any accidents you have experienced with fireworks (press cuttings will also help) contact her at or by letter at 1, Methuen Avenue, Gaywood, King's Lynn, Norfolk. PE30 4BN