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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 10:41 GMT
Guide dogs lead firework protest
Jenny Hollingworth
Jenny Hollingworth says fireworks left her isolated
Owners of guide dogs from across the East Midlands are backing a campaign to tighten laws on fireworks.

One owner from Nottingham will help present a petition to 10 Downing Street on Wednesday.

Jenny Hollingworth, from Bulwell, got involved in the campaign because one of her guide dogs, Nisha, became so stressed by fireworks that she had to be put on valium.

The petition backs a private members' bill, which gets its second reading next week in the House of Commons.

The petition, organised by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, already has 75,000 signatures.

Despite their extensive training, costing about 35,000 for each animal, guide dogs can still be hugely affected by sudden, loud noises.

House bound

The association says every year guide dogs are sedated, retrained and in some cases even retired after being traumatised by the irresponsible use of fireworks.

Ms Hollingworth said: "Having to watch her go through that was horrendous.

"There was nothing I could do, I couldn't even comfort her."

"And as for me, I physically could not leave the house for as long as it went on."

Fireworks continue

Ruth Mays from Great Glen in Leicestershire admits her dog, Nikki, also suffers terribly from fireworks.

She said: "She goes manic and shakes from head to tail.

"I work full time and it is very difficult to coax her out sometimes.

"It seems like November 5th goes for most of the year these days."

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