Not everyone's happy about Diwali coming up. Thanks to loud firecrackers and their heightened sense of hearing, the festival is a nightmare for animals, and all they seek for is a safe place to hide.
Often, stray dogs become victims of thrill-seekers who torture them.
"Animals get bewildered by the smoke and sounds. The day after Diwali, we get so many calls related to dogs being spotted with collars running all around in a bewildered state, or of dogs having run away from their homes because they were startled and shocked with the sounds of firecrackers," says Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of an animal welfare NGO, Friendicoes SECA.
She adds, "Some people find it amusing to tie firecrackers around the neck or stomach of a dog. The injuries and burns the animal suffers are unimaginable. The next morning, people call up NGOs to get these poor creatures taken care of as they are found cowering and injured all across the city."
Animal welfare organisations not only get trauma calls for dogs, but also birds that suffer due to the sounds and smoke.
"Birds have an extremely weak heart and lots of them just drop dead. They die of shock because of heart failure due to the loud sound. Migratory birds follow a fixed path when they fly and end up taking a detour because of the sounds and smoke. They often land in hostile environments and even get injured due to the rockets," says Manta Sidhu of another NGO, Angel Eyes.