A COUNCILLOR is under fire from angry residents after he questioned the benefits of having a Dogs Trust kennel in Shoreham.
“I’m not actually too sure what benefit the Dogs Trust brings to the district,” are the words of Adur District Councillor Keith Dollemore, who defended the right to host a fireworks event at Adur Rec on Saturday, October 17, close to the rescue centre.
On Facebook’s The New Shoreham-by-Sea Group, Mr Dollemore wrote: “This debate crops up on here every year. Bonfires and fireworks displays were taking place on this site long before the Dogs Trust moved in.”
The statement follows residents’ complaints that the annual firework display distresses the dogs, and should be relocated.
Mr Dollemore added that most of the dogs the Trust care’s for are from outside the area. He did not want to comment any further.
A spokesman for the Dogs Trust in Shoreham said: “For many years Dogs Trust has been in discussions with the local council regarding the fireworks display at Adur Rec as the tremendous noise has a huge impact on the rescue dogs.
“Many dogs will show signs of fireworks fear in their own homes, but for rescue dogs, many of whom have not had the best start in life or who have only recently arrived at the rehoming centre, the noise can be unbearable.
“Some dogs may have to be treated with anxiety reducing medication.”
On the evening of the display, staff will stay on late to be with the dogs to help ease them, radios will be turned up and vet approved methods, such as the ‘sounds scary audio therapy programme, will be used.
A joint survey carried out by Dogs Trust and Cats Protection revealed that 65 per cent of pets are worried by fireworks and that 93 per cent of owners alter their routine during firework displays to try to minimise the trauma on their pets.
Some 3,750 pet owners were surveyed, and nearly a fifth of them said they had consulted a veterinary surgeon or animal behaviourist to help their pet deal with their fireworks fear. More than 80 per cent of owners believe fireworks should be restricted to official displays only.
For advice on keeping pets safe during fireworks displays, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or www.cats.org.uk
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