A HELENSBURGH dog owner is organising a walk of solidarity for pets in the hope of encouraging others to reconsider setting off their own fireworks.

The ‘Pets Against Fireworks’ demonstration is due to take place this weekend at Levengrove Park in Dumbarton, a week on from the popular bonfire and fireworks display at Helensburgh pier.

Jane Kerr, who lives in Townhead Road and has two dogs, is aiming to raise awareness of the distress caused to animals by the annual celebrations after seeing first-hand the effect on her 10-year-old pooch Bonnie.

She says she is not against controlled public events but would like to see stricter regulations imposed on the sale of pyrotechnics.

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Jane told the Advertiser: “Fireworks cause constant and unnecessary suffering to animals.

“If neighbours are setting them off near or next to your house it’s far too close for comfort.

“People are running amok setting them off in the streets as well; just last week five young boys were arrested in Pollokshaws Road in Glasgow.

“They can get into the wrong hands.

“I think the government and local council and MPs need to take note because it’s going to get to the point where somebody is going to get really hurt.”

Jane’s rescue dog Bonnie is terrified of fireworks, meaning a raft of preventative measures need to be taken as November 5 approaches each year.

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Jane said: “I thought we were going to lose my dog last year.

“She didn’t hear the public display at the pier this year but my neighbour set off some from her garden across the street and that caused four hours of shaking and trembling.

“It was very distressing for her and for us as pet owners.

“I’ve bought her earplugs, she’s had relaxing powder in her food and I made a snood for her to try and keep her calm.

“A lot of people do know the distress is causes but do it regardless, but other people do it unwittingly.

“As pet owners we are the only voice they have, so we need to bring it to the public’s attention.

“Maybe some of them will say “we’ll just go to the public display this year instead”.

“The list of reasons not to sell them to the public far outweighs the reasons to sell them.”

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A petition will be set up to try and ban the sale of fireworks to the public, while Sunday’s gathering in Dumbarton, at ?pm, will untie pet owners across the area.

Another Helensburgh woman, who did not wish to be named, also believes more must be done to highlight the dangers of setting off fireworks near animals.

The horse owner said: “Being a horse owner with a stable on the edge of town at Drumfork farm, each year we have houses all around us setting off fireworks.

“We know this happens and plan ahead to have the horses in before dark, have the radio on and people on the yard to calm the horses.

“Fireworks are let off close by meaning very spooked horses coming in from the field and it’s dangerous for myself and my horses.”

Jane added: “Bonnie shook and panted for hours this year, I came home to a terrified little friend. It literally breaks my heart to watch her go through this every year.

“When I see my dog in that state I fear for her life. She is 10-years-old and I don’t know how many more years she can be put through that terror.

“Even if it prevents a few people from buying them next year, that is a success.”

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For more information on Sunday’s walk, see the Facebook event page Pets Against Fireworks.