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Award-winning animal welfare experts have encouraged pet owners to take precautions to keep their animals safe during Halloween, and fireworks displays.

And they have also issued a reminder about the dangers that sky lanterns pose to public safety and animals.

During Halloween, pet owners should:

•           Keep sweets, treats and chocolates out of reach of pets. Chocolate and chemicals used to sweeten treats are poisonous to animals.

•           Not force pets to wear a Halloween costume – animals can become very stressed.

•           Keep pets inside, but ensure they have a tag on their collar and are microchipped just in case they escape

•           Minimise the escape risk by keeping pets away from the door when opening it to trick or treaters

•           Give pet a safe and quiet place to escape from a Halloween party.

More information is available at: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/environment/environmental-health/animal-welfare/keeping-your-pets-safe-during-halloween

To make fireworks less frightening for pets, owners should:

•           Keep pets secured inside. Even dogs in fenced in yards find ways to escape.

•           Give them a safe place to hide. Set up a comfortable room or crate in the home just for them.

•           Use ambient noise to mask the noise of fireworks. A radio or TV playing comforting music or people talking works well

•           Ensure their ID and Microchip details are up to date.

•           Skip the celebration and stay home with their pets. Sometimes owners presence makes all the difference

•           Keep them busy – treats and toys can help distract them during the display.

For more information: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/environment/environmental-health/animal-welfare/fireworks-and-animal-safety

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service also has some tips to ensure we all stay safe too: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/glosfire/your-safety/safety-outdoors/firework-and-bonfire-safety

And anyone tempted to launch sky lanterns has been urged not to – they pose hazards to animals, can cause fires, create litter and threaten air safety. Advice on alternatives: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/environment/environmental-health/pollution-and-nuisance/sky-lanterns

Councillor Chloe Turner, Chair of SDCs Environment Committee said: “We want everyone to have a safe Halloween and fireworks season, and to celebrate with the environment around them in mind.”

Two of SDCs three Council Plan priorities are Environment and Climate Change, and Community Resilience and Wellbeing, and the RSPCA has once again recognised Stroud District Councils animal welfare and emergency planning work.

The council has retained its gold award for the stray dog service and licensing has been elevated from bronze to silver. Additionally, emergency planning has retained its bronze status.

“We are immensely proud to see our dedicated officers retain and improve these awards,” said Environment Committee Vice Chair, Robin Drury-Layfield.

“It has been another exceedingly challenging year and we are grateful for the service they provide to the district.”