RSPCA Victoria is praising dog owners for their handling of pets during New Year’s Eve fireworks.

In total, 56 stray dogs were brought into RSPCA Victoria animal care centres between New Year’s Eve and Tuesday, January 2, less than half the number of animals received by shelters in the same period the year before.

RSPCA Victoria chief executive Liz Walker said it was pleasing that pet owners appeared to be heeding advice on how to care for their animals amid stressful situations such as fireworks.

“Animals and fireworks simply do not mix,” Dr Walker said. “We all love to celebrate the beginning of a new year, but fireworks, particularly illegal displays, cause distress in many animals, including dogs, cats and horses.

“Our pets are part of the family, so it’s encouraging to see owners taking extra precautions to ensure their dogs are safely contained at this time of year.”

The positive trend around Victoria was reflected in Brimbank, with the council receiving just two calls for lost dogs after New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Both dogs were found safe and were reunited with their owners.

While the danger period is over,
Dr Walker said those who were still seeking lost pets should continue to search their local shelters.

“We have stray dogs being brought into RSPCA Victoria shelters for up to a week into the new year, so we encourage anyone who has lost their pet to keep checking their local council pounds, animal shelters and veterinary clinics,” she said.