VANCOUVER, May 14, 2002 - The Victoria Day weekend is typically the year’s first weekend that features fireworks displays. May is also the beginning of several months of storms that feature thunder and lightning. All of these displays can terrorize some pets and the Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is requesting that people be sympathetic to their animal companions’ needs during these ordeals.


"Many pets are frightened, even terrified of fireworks, thunder and lightning" says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. "These frightened animals can run off, get injured or cause damage in their terrified state. Even if they quietly endure these storms and fireworks they are still frightened and upset during these displays."


According to HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan, people have to be particularly patient and understanding with their pets who are frightened of storms and fireworks. O’Sullivan, who has four dogs and two cats, says planning for your pets’ safety will alleviate considerable suffering and possibly prevent a serious injury or lost animal companion.

"Being aware of when storms are coming and when and where fireworks displays are occurring and helping our pets through these events is very important," states O’Sullivan. "By listening to weather forecasts we can plan for storms. Fireworks displays usually occur on long weekends and are often advertised of where and when they will occur. By knowing when expected fireworks displays and storms will occur and being prepared for unexpected storms and displays we can help ensure our best friends comfort and safety."

To assist people look after their pets who are frightened of storms and fireworks displays, the Humane Society of Canada offers the following recommendations:

  • Keep pets indoors well before, during and after (for a while) fireworks displays and storms.
  • Always ensure that pets have effective identification such as personalized tags, microchips or both. Make sure that your pet’s collar fits properly.
  • When outside with your pet, ensure that he/she cannot run off. Put the animal in a pet carrier or have him/her on a leash.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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