Every year hundreds of dogs throughout Ireland go missing around Halloween due to the terrifying volume and pitch from fireworks, which animals can hear from a couple of miles away.

Anyone in animal welfare will tell you that an alarming proportion of these dogs do not return safely to their owners. Many get lost or are fatally injured after scurrying for cover; indeed, the most placid pets have been known to dig under fences, break through glass windows and doors to bolt free. The days after Halloween night can be a nightmare at animal shelters, due to the influx of lost animals.

Stressful events tend to ‘de program’ pets with long-term consequences. KalmAid is a product manufactured by Nutriscience, an Irish company based in Waterford city. It works by reducing feelings of anxiety so that the dog is less ‘nervous’ and does not react so extremely to firework noises. Available from your vet, it can also be used to manage a range of protracted behavioural problems.

Picture shows Nutriscience’s Louise Grubb (left) donating some KalmAid product to Waterford Animal Welfare to help rescued dogs through the Halloween season; included are Isabel Copeland Eccles, ‘Granny’, Emily McDowell, ‘Shadow’, Michelle McDowell and ‘Aoife’, the greyhound that lost its ears a few years ago and has been looked after by Isabel ever since. Another local animal rescue helper lost her 24-year-old cat two weeks ago because of kids messing about with fireworks.

A charity based in Dunhill Business Park, Waterford Animal Welfare can be contacted at 051-841091 or email: secretary@waterfordanimalwelfare.com