MANILA -- The Ecowaste Coalition, together with the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), on Friday reminded the public of ways to protect animals from the loud sound created by firecrackers during the New Year celebration.

“It is not only humans who are badly affected by the man-made chemicals, noise and waste pollution resulting from the explosion of firecrackers and pyrotechnics. Animals, particularly cats and dogs, suffer silently from the deafening mayhem,” EcoWaste campaigner, Tony Dizon, said during an interview at the PAWS Animal Rehab Center in Aurora Blvd., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Dizon said it is important to ensure that the animals are well-fed.

"As much as possible, ilagay natin sila sa isang lugar na halos di sila makakadinig ng anumang paputok (keep them in an area where they could not hear firecrackers)," he said.

Dizon said it would help if family members commit to make the house a “no firecracker zone" and to politely tell neighbors not to light or throw firecrackers near a pet owner’s house.

He suggested that pets be exercised during the morning of New Year’s Eve so they would be tired and sleepy by night; and be given a physical outlet for their pent-up energy due to arousal and stress.

Manage the environment so it would be as relaxing and stress-free as possible and provide the pet a temporary refuge, such as a quiet bedroom, and play it some soothing music, Dizon said.

He discouraged pet owners from yelling or laughing at their pets when the latter are cowering or shaking in fear.

On Friday, EcoWaste and PAWS were joined by animal lovers and their pets for the annual peaceful rally that aims to promote a safe, clean and animal-friendly celebration of the New Year.

They also had a discussion on the negative effects of firecrackers on pets and a talk on how to keep them calm during the New Year festivities. (PNA/Photo courtesy of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society)