Family mourns death of dog who bolted after being scared by fireworks
LOWER SACKVILLE, N.S. -- Megan Gale and her family are mourning the loss of their six-year-old dog, Zailey, after an evening walk to a nearby park in Lower Sackville, N.S., on Saturday turned into a nightmare.
It all started when someone else in the park set off some fireworks.
"Of course, she was terrified with the loud noises, and freaked out, and she just immediately tried to bolt out of my hands, she was leashed," Gale said. "I had no choice but to just let her go."
Gale, who is pregnant, just couldn't hold on and Zailey ran away.
Gale headed home, thinking the dog might go there.
But there was no sign of her.
The family spent hours looking everywhere
Gale wrote a Facebook post, and soon strangers were helping out.
"I ended up getting a private Facebook message, they had said mentioned that they saw her up the highway behind us, up the 101 that is directly behind our building," Gale said.
But by the time Gale and her husband got there, she says Zailey was dead after being struck by a vehicle.
"With everything that happened, it could have been very avoidable," Gale said.
Animal rescuer Sonya Higgins messaged her local councillor after hearing what happened.
Higgins believes the temporary spectacle of fireworks isn't worth the potential risks.
"Should our few moments of pleasure outweigh somebody else's safety?" she questioned.
Any fireworks set off on Saturday would have actually been prohibited due to a provincial burn ban.
"I think the use of personal fireworks in backyards should be entirely prohibited because of the lack of safety, and effect on wildlife, on pets, on humans," Higgins said.
Concerns around fireworks have been brought up to the city before, and earlier this year council approved a motion asking for a staff report into the use of what are called "silent" fireworks for municipal functions.
In June, a staff report for the city of Vancouver recommended banning the sale of fireworks to the public by 2021.
A number of other Canadian cities already have bans in place.
And Prince Edward Island forbids the use of fireworks without a provincial permit.
Halifax Regional Coun. Lorelei Nicoll says she's been hearing more fireworks being set off in residential neighborhoods during the pandemic.
"I think I'll ask for an information report from council on what could we do, with regards to the sale of fireworks, and things like that," Nicoll said.
Gale says it's always good to have a reminder that just because you're having fun, doesn't mean that everybody around you is.