Pet owners around the Ozarks prepare for New Year’s Eve fireworks

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 4:53 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - When most of us hear fireworks, we think of the Fourth of July. However, many will be ringing in 2022 with fireworks celebrations.

Several communities, like Nixa, Ozark, and Willard, have policies that allow for fireworks to be discharged for certain periods on New Year’s Eve. Within Springfield city limits, fireworks are not allowed.

While fireworks can be enjoyed by most, it can be pretty rough for our furry friends.

“A lot of animals tend to be afraid of fireworks because they’re loud and noisy and tend to be set off all at once,” said Alex Heath, an adoption counselor for Cast Away Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E). “So there’s lots of loud noises all at the same time.”

And everyone has their ways of comforting dogs.

”Thunder shirts, wrapping them in blankets, putting them in a kennel,” she explained. “Really it’s just about putting them where they feel safe.”

“Really it’s just kind of about distracting them, they can get fixated on the noise,” said Jonathan Schimming, who brought his dogs to a local dog park. “So you just have to try and distract them and make sure they know everything is all good.”

Workers at animal shelters say that there are the two main things to consider for your pets. Keeping them close, and keeping them distracted.

“Chill out with their dogs, tell them ‘Hey it’s okay,’ give them pets and let them know it’s alright,” says Hunter Stepp on what works best for his dogs.

”What I do at my house is turn on the T.V. really loud or put on some calming music, that way it kind of drowns out some of the noise,’ said Heath.

Heath says Cast Away Rescue Effort even temporarily takes their dogs out of the shelter, to get away from all the commotion.

”Our dogs don’t, they won’t, stay here for New Year’s. They’ll actually go to our sanctuary out in the country, where they won’t be close to any of the fireworks,” she explained.

They work closely with animal control, who says one of its busiest times aside from the Fourth of July is New Year’s. So keep an eye out in the coming days and make sure your pet is prepared in case of an emergency.

”We always recommend, especially around Fourth of July, making sure when fireworks are going off that your animals have their tags,” said Heath. “That way if they do get out and lost, people can see those tags and are able to get them back to you.”

Each community has its own policies on fireworks, including requirements and time frames. Fireworks are not permitted anytime in the City limits of Springfield. Be sure to check your city’s policy on fireworks before shooting any off.

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