It’s five years ago this week since we reported the story of Archie which again highlighted the devastating effects fireworks can have on animals.
A terrified dog wrenched away from its owner and ran more than 10 miles along a motorway after being spooked by fireworks.
The family of Archie the Golden Retriever from North Weald say unofficial firework displays should be banned and the sale of the explosives in supermarkets stopped, after their beloved pet raced across the M11.
The four-year-old dog was found shaking at the side of the road near Bishop’s Stortford in the early hours of November 6 last year.
His owner Marion Lowman, 76, said Bonfire Night was “dreaded” this year and they are concerned that random displays will continue throughout the autumn and winter.
Mrs Lowman, of Forest Glade, said her husband took Archie for a walk at about 10pm on November 5 last year as people nearby set off fireworks.
She said: “He was very nervous anyway because of fireworks in the back garden so he took him out the front on the lead.
“A firework went off above – bang, bang, bang, bang – he wrenched the lead out of my husband’s hand and ran… he ran across the field where there were horses going mad.”
Mrs Lowman’s neighbours united to search for the spooked dog but failed to find him.
He was only returned home after a young couple driving on the M11 spotted him lying at the side of the road near Bishop’s Stortford five hours later.
They returned him home at about 3am, shaking and limping.
He had torn a ligament and ripped off a claw, leading to a vet’s bill of more than £4,000 and restricting his movement for months.
Mrs Lowman said he was terrified as soon as fireworks started going off this year.
“He is so nervous now.
“He is shaking, he doesn’t know where to go.”
Along with her daughter-in-law Heather, Mrs Lowman now believes firework use should be restricted to protect animals, elderly people and children.
She highlighted other safety issues around Epping Forest, saying: “They shouldn’t be able to put rockets up into the sky, especially over the forest.
“You only need one rocket into some dry leaves and it will go up.
“It is a worry, and the fact people can sell these in supermarkets is wrong.”