Fourth of July celebrations may be enjoyable for humans, but these events can be terrifying and sometimes life-threatening for our animal friends.
In early July, a 3-month-old kitten in Jasper County, Iowa, was picked up by local animal control after he sustained traumatic, fireworks-related injuries.
The Jasper County Animal Rescue League and Humane Society shared heartbreaking photos of the small kitten in a Facebook post, and noted that the feline was taken to Parkview Animal Hospital for immediate care.
The firework exploded in the stray kitten's face, causing burns around the lips, nose, and eyes, as well as facial and jaw fractures and avulsions.
Terri McKinney, the clinic manager of Newton, Iowa's Parkview Animal Hospital, told petMD that the kitten was taken right into surgery upon arrival to stabilize his fractured jaw with an orthopedic wire.
"The lip was sutured back to the gingival tissue with the hopes that it would reattach itself with time," she explained. "The burns and ulcerations were clipped and cleaned. Following recovery, he was placed on medications and a diet of soft food to help with healing."
The kitten was in distress, showing signs of both pain and fear due to the trauma, McKinney said, but "with time, proper medical care, nutrition, and great socialization, we anticipate him to be a normal, cuddly kitten."
That seems to already be the case, as the brave and resilient kitten—now named Firecracker—has "been doing remarkably well" since his near-death experience, McKinney noted. "He started eating shortly following surgery and quickly started to groom himself," she said. "He is still recovering and will have to undergo another sedation/possible surgery to check the stabilization of the fracture in a few weeks."
The kitten is very lucky, McKinney said. If the fireworks had hit him any futher up on the face, he could have suffered from "severe vision issues." She said the "quick thinking" of the Jasper County Animal Control officer who rescued him likely saved his life.
Firecracker is currently in the care of the Jasper County Animal Rescue League and Humane Society staff who helped save him. He will be put into foster care until he is healthy enough to be placed into a forever home.
McKinney hopes that Firecracker's tale serves as a reminder to pet parents everywhere to take extra precautions when it comes to summer festivities that include fireworks. "Pet parents need to make sure that all pets are confined to areas where fireworks are not accessible," she warned. "It is quite easy for an animal to quickly get injured when not confined."
To help Firecracker and other pets like him in need, you can donate to the Jasper County Animal Rescue League and Humane Society here.
Image via Jasper County Animal Rescue League and Humane Society Facebook
Read more: Summer Safety Tips for Pets