Another night of hell …

Garry Hertzberg.

EXPLOSIONS so loud your teeth rattle, overhead the sky burns, flashes of light, the screams of your friends crying out in the night, your feet are bleeding from running through the streets.

Daylight breaks through the clouds, all seems peaceful but the aftermath is all around you, here a body hangs from a chain, eyes bulging, another impaled on a fence, yet another missing one side of his face …

This is not just another installment of a horror show on TV, this is what our beloved pets go through every time we decide to have a celebration with fireworks. Dogs don’t understand fireworks, and they experience them in a manner that we will never fully understand. The bangs are louder, the flashes are brighter and the experience is not one of wonder and joy but rather one of terror and panic.

There are some steps you can take to protect your pets such as giving them tranquilizers, keeping them with you indoors, and having them fitted with a microchip. There is nothing worse than picking up a stray and not being able to find its owner.

Fireworks are ingrained in our culture, we will use them to celebrate any occasion from New Year’s Eve to Diwali and even Guy Fawkes which really has nothing to do with our culture.

The truth is that true to form, South Africans are either feigning ignorance of the law, or simply don’t care. The municipal bylaws say we can only light fireworks on 11 nights of the year, and on those nights only between 7pm and 10pm, except on New Year’s Eve when fireworks are allowed from 11pm to 1am. At any other time, perpetrators can be fined R500 unless they had received permission from the city council.

Surely we, as animal lovers, should really be aware of the law that no person can set off fireworks in a place where animals are present including your residential home. This must be the most overlooked rule in Johannesburg.

It is up to us as the community to enforce these bylaws by reporting offences to the Metro police on 011 375 5911 and being united in standing up for our furry friends.



Garry Hertzberg

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