A heartbroken pet owner has shared a video of her pet rabbit’s final moments after she claims he was ‘scared to death’ by fireworks. Owner Donna Pilgrim took the video of little Archie shaking with fear to highlight what she claims is “the cruelty and reality of fireworks” and show they can have a devastating effect on household pets.
In it, she gravely warns: “My poor little man, he’s just had a huge amount of fireworks go off outside.
“As you can see, although he’s snug with his hay and his little house where he usually lays, he’s now just trembling and shaking in his bed.
“This is the cruelty and reality of fireworks, I’m just hoping and praying that he’s still with me tomorrow.
“I found him lying on his side and shaking, he’s obviously traumatised by it all.
“So for that few quid’s worth going up in smoke, that could do so much more, for so many animals or people in need.
“I hope you enjoyed your five minutes of fun. I think I’ll be very lucky to have Archie in the morning.”
The shocking footage captured the bunny appearing to tremor with fear (Image: Facebook) Sadly, Archie passed away just over 12 hours later.
Donna, who shared the footage on the Sixfields Rabbit Sanctuary Facebook page, posted a picture of Archie and told people: “Sadly my sweet little Archie is no longer with us.”
She said Archie – who had been kept in a stable with thick stone walls – had been eating his supper before the fireworks started around 5.30pm.
She said: “He was happily eating his supper this evening at 5.30, then the fireworks started.
“It’s the 3rd of November not the 5th, he let out a squeal and laid on his side, now wont stop shaking.
“Veterinary advice keep him warm and quiet, and all you can do is hope for the best. It’s a shock reaction.
“Well thank you very much I hope the money you spent for a few seconds of horrible noise was worth it !!!”
Archie passed away Sunday morning (Image: Facebook) Now members of the public have called for fireworks to be banned (Image: Getty Images/Tetra images RF) Now the devastated pet owner is calling for firework displays to be limited to certain areas.
Donna, from Millbrook, Cornwall, added: “I appreciate people get pleasure from fireworks but I just wish it was controlled organised events away from highly populated housing areas.
“Just to protect the animals more, and give people a choice of going to see and hear them or staying home in peace and quiet.
“Keeps everyone happy then, I really don’t want my little Archie to be gone tomorrow.”
10 tips to keep your pets calm during the fireworks season According to figures from the RSPCA , 45 per cent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear loud bangs.
And 65 per cent of owners feel anxious for their pet as the bangers go off.
But with Diwali and Guy Fawkes Night celebrations starting, planning can take the stress out of firework season. Here’s ten things you can do to help:
1. Create a safe den or hideaway, like this cat tent, right. Before fireworks night, put treats, toys and blankets there so pets associate it with positive experiences. The RSPCA’s Professor Daniel Mills said: “Dogs learn this place is safe and enjoyable. So when fireworks go off they may go there because they know no harm will come to them.”
2. Keep pets indoors. Cats should stay in and dogs walked in daylight.
3. Close curtains and play music or leave the TV on to muffle firework noise.
4. Protect small animals . If you have a bonfire, ensure no hedgehogs are hibernating in the leaves. Rabbits, guinea pigs or birds should be given extra bedding to burrow in and have an area of their cage or hutch covered with blankets.
5. Try letting pets smell essential oils – they can help to relax and soothe them.Use plug in pheromone diffusers. For dogs, try Adaptil and use Feliway for cats.
6. Try calming supplements in their food – like AniForte Calm & Relax.
7. Play with pets so they are tired and may sleep through the din.
8. Don’t punish a pet for reacting to noise – it will make things worse.
9. Speak to your vet if you feel unable to settle your pet and they may refer you to a behaviourist.
10. Download the RSPCA Sounds Scary therapy pack which includes recordings to help your pet be less afraid of noises in the long term. See rspca.org.uk
Now hundreds of people have shared the upsetting footage online – with many calling for fireworks to be banned.
Beverley Dobson said: “It really makes me mad as there is an alternative – silent fireworks.
“No animal needs to be scared to death and people can still have their celebrations. It makes no sense.”
Rachael Harrop added: “This is why we should ban fireworks, they cause so much stress for so many different animals!
“My rabbits live outside and are petrified of the fireworks, it just isn’t fair.”
In November 2015 a family claimed that their five pet rabbits died of fright when firecrackers were set off near their home.
The bunnies died over the course of a weekend, “squealing” from fright, according to owner Sue Cox, of Littleover, Derbyshire.
PDSA Vet Amy Labbate said it was unusual for rabbits to die of fright but it could happen.
Ms Labbate said that rabbits are sensitive to loud bangs from fireworks and that there natural instinct is to run away.
“It’s unusual and without looking at them I couldn’t say for sure, but rabbits in particular do get very scared and frightened and unfortunately, yes, it could be possible,” she said.