THE Ballarat RSPCA have already endured what is likely to be their busiest day of the year after dozens of animals ran away from home at the sounds of fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
By midday yesterday the animal shelter had taken in at least 20 dogs, some of whom had already been reunited with their owners.
Animal attendant Rebecca Dennis said the shelter had significantly more animals admitted following fireworks, thunderstorms and other loud events.
“There’s definitely no other day like New Year’s Day,” she said.
“The fireworks are a real anxiety for dogs and it’s amazing what they can do and how far they can travel when they’re scared.”
None of the dogs brought in suffered injuries, she said, but several remained without their owners.
Ms Dennis said her work was made more difficult if animals weren’t registered or micro-chipped.
“There are a lot of people still looking for their animals so people really need to get their pets micro-chipped and registered,” she said.
Ms Dennis said it was crucial for pet owners to take extra care of their animals during loud events.
Ballarat Sergeant Corey Fraser said police were kept busy with dozens of calls about fireworks going off on New Year’s Eve, particularly in the Wendouree and Sebastopol areas.
“It is classed as an explosive and serious penalties apply for possession of fireworks and letting them off,” he said. “It can involve a term of imprisonment.”
Anyone with information about selling or possessing fireworks contact police on 5336 6000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.