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’Bang out of order’: Cats and dogs ‘distraught’ as gang pelts Islington animal hospital with fireworks

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:07 09 November 2020

A gang of youths pelted fireworks at the Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park. Picture: RSPCA

A gang of youths pelted fireworks at the Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park. Picture: RSPCA

RSPCA

Terrified vetinary staff were trapped inside the Harmsworth Animal Hospital on Guy Fawkes night, as it came under attack by a gang of youths who lobbed fireworks at the building.

A gang of youths pelted fireworks at the Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park. Picture: RSPCAA gang of youths pelted fireworks at the Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park. Picture: RSPCA

When police officers were called to the RSPCA’s centre in Sonderburg Road, Finsbury Park, on November 5, their car was also hit .

Staff who cowered inside in the dark so as not to be seen, along with the medical centre’s sick dogs and cats who were petrified by the loud bangs, likened the situation to “something out of a war zone”.

The RSPCA animal welfare charity is calling for tighter controls and regulations around the sale and use of fireworks, through its #BangOutOfOrder campaign.

They want the sale to be banned for the public and kept for licensed displays only, because of the danger they pose and the distress the loud bangs inflict on animals.

A gang of youths pelted fireworks at the Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park. Picture: RSPCAA gang of youths pelted fireworks at the Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park. Picture: RSPCA

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A spokesperson said: “Our poor patients are left terrified every year because of the sale of fireworks to the public, and over the last week in particular, we have had a terrible time with gangs of youths clashing with the police right outside our doors.

“Our dedicated workers are trying to continue to care and treat animals during the challenging times of lockdown and they should be able to do this without fear for themselves or the animals.

“Fireworks have been going off in this area during the week upsetting the dogs and animals in the hospital, and staff also reported sparks visible in the branches of the trees close to the hospital.

Rottweiler Rose, who was finding the fireworks very frightening, was moved upstairs to a quieter room by staff who tried to comfort her. Picture: RSPCA
Rottweiler Rose, who was finding the fireworks very frightening, was moved upstairs to a quieter room by staff who tried to comfort her. Picture: RSPCA

“Fireworks are extremely stressful and frightening for lots of animals, but they can also cause very serious injury and even death to some.”

The animal welfare charity has received 1,543 calls about fireworks since 2016, and a poll it carried out found 21 per cent of adults reported owning, knowing or having heard about an animal that had died because of fireworks.

The hospital has asked its clients who need to visit or collect medication to do so before it gets dark over the next few days and by appointment only.


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