IN THE lead up to Bonfire Night, a rescue centre for dogs in Shropshire is urging people to be more mindful of animals.

Hector’s Greyhound Rescue has welcomed the recent news that Sainsbury’s will be taking fireworks off its shelves this year, but now founder Hayley Bradley, is hoping other supermarkets and shops will follow its lead.

Hayley and volunteers at the rescue spend the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night – and into the New Year – rescuing dogs that have fled their homes, and owners when on walks, because of fear of the loud bangs associated with fireworks.

“This is something I’m really passionate about,” said Hayley. “We’ve breathed a massive sigh of relief that Sainsbury’s have stopped selling fireworks because of animal welfare.

“Every year for as long as I can remember, it has pulled on our rescue’s resources and unfortunately we’re left to mop up the aftermath.

“We’ve rescued dogs that have bolted on walks when fireworks are set off – there’s even been some going off in the daytime in the run up to Bonfire Night.

“We’ve already rescued two dogs this week who have bolted while running in the park.

“Some have escaped their gardens because of the noise.

“It’s a horrible time of year for us. It starts at Hallowe’en and carries on through Christmas until New Year.

“So for the next three months, we’re on call, out looking for lost dogs.”

Hayley is now keen to make people aware of the detrimental affect fireworks have on not just dogs, but on livestock and other domestic animals.

“It’s just about consideration,” Hayley added. “It’s a massive step from Sainsbury’s for animal welfare, they’re leading by example and we would love to see it across the board now.

“But if we could give any advice to dog owners, it would be, check your gates are all secure and to minimise distress, draw your curtains and play background noises.

“Do not reinforce your dogs fear by cuddling them too much, leave them have their own space.

“They don’t understand that its for human pleasure. But you can get garden fireworks that are silent now so families can still have the pretty fireworks and silent bangers without the explosions and noise that is causing so much stress.”

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “Fireworks are no longer available in our stores but customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light up spinning wands.”

After the Advertizer’s report last week on Sainsbury’s no longer selling fireworks, Tizer followers took to our Facebook page to share their views on the move, with many supporting the supermarket chain’s decision.

Zoe Georgina welcomed the news, highlighting the dangers of fireworks.

She said: “Well done Sainsbury’s. A lot of people who set them off in their gardens have no clue what they are doing and it’s so dangerous.”

And Jane Kynaston also echoed the views of Hector’s Greyhound Rescue in hoping other businesses followed suit.

“Hope the other supermarkets follow Sainsbury’s,” she said.

Samantha Camps commented: “Unfortunately it’s not just Bonfire Night anymore. It’s a few weeks before and after.

“This is the case of the minority spoiling it for the majority, but I for one, support Sainsbury’s doing this.”

Nationwide support for the supermarket – which has become the first major UK supermarket to ban the sale of fireworks in all of its stores – has been shown across social media by many individuals and organisations, including the British Vetinary Association (BVA).

“Well done Sainsbury’s for recognising the negative impact of fireworks on animal welfare,” the BVA commented on Twitter.

“The loud noises and bright flashes can be extremely traumatic for pets, wildlife, horses and livestock, leading to serious injury in some cases.”