By Bonny Burrows
Illegal fireworks have been blamed for the death of a dog that was found impaled on the backyard fence of its family home in Kooweerup.
Pedro, a four-year-old Dalmatian cross Mastiff, died on 4 February when it tried to jump the backyard fence after it is believed he was scared by fireworks being set off nearby.
A devastated Bernadette Chalcraft said she decided to speak out about the incident so that people might think twice before setting off fireworks.
She said it was common for unauthorised fireworks to be set off in the town, so much so that she had kept Pedro inside.
“But because he’d been really good I decided to let him stay out a bit longer as a way to let him know it was safe,” Ms Chalcraft said.
It was a decision she would soon live to regret. Fireworks went off later that night and Pedro was found by the family dead, hanging from the fence.
Ms Chalcraft said the worst part was that her 13-year-old son had to remove his beloved pet from the fence.
The family is still recovering from the incident, with Ms Chalcraft describing Pedro’s death like “losing one of our children”.
“It’s just not fair. We do everything to shelter our animals and it’s so heartbreaking,” she said.
She urged those responsible to stop, but said it was unlikely because they knew the dangers but just didn’t care.
“It’s an ongoing problem, devastating people and they think it is OK,” Ms Chalcraft said.
“They just don’t care and that’s the sad part.”
RSPCA Victoria said loud noises associated with fireworks and thunderstorms were one of the most prevalent phobias in animals, resulting in “tens of thousands” of attempts to escape properties often causing injuries or, in some cases, death.