Pet owners are being urged to keep a close watch on their animals on the Fourth of July since fireworks frighten them, prompting them to run loose onto streets and freeways, get lost or wind up in shelters.
Fourth of July celebrations typically generate the busiest day of the year for animal control officers, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. Dogs and cats can be startled and disoriented by the sound of fireworks, while owners out celebrating don’t realize extra precautions are necessary.
Animal control officials warned against keeping pets in backyards or tied up during fireworks shows. Dogs in particular may panic and injure themselves on a rope or chain.
Other safety tips include:
— Make sure your pet is microchipped, its license is current and tags are secured to the pet’s collar;
— Keep pets indoors in a cool, comfortable place with some “white noise” distraction such as a radio or television;
— Do not take pets to fireworks events; and
— If you are leaving town and cannot take your pets with you, make sure you leave them with someone who will be particularly cautious and responsible during Fourth of July celebrations.
The county’s animal care centers will be open Saturday for anyone who has lost a pet or wants to turn in a found animal. Normal business hours for all other services will resume Sunday.
Anyone who witnesses animal cruelty or an animal in distress is urged to call (562) 940-6898 or 911.
A full listing of county animal centers can be found at www.animalcare.lacounty.gov.