LA County reminds residents to keep pets safe during Fourth of July

FILE PHOTO: West Covina Resident Jade Hutchinson pets Sol as Mikka, the Chow Chow, poses for the camera at Golden Valley Dog Park on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Fourth of July can be a fun time for Santa Clarita residents with holiday barbeques, outdoor celebrations and fireworks; however, the holiday can be a dangerous one for families’ four-legged friends.

The day’s busy activities and loud noises can send dogs fleeing into streets and freeways and can make cats hide under tables at homes.

“Our pet community is typically frightened by the sounds of this holiday, and that is perfectly understandable,” said Marcia Mayeda, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.

According to PETA, pets have jumped fences, broken chains, torn through screen doors and leapt through glass doors as a result of fears from fireworks noises or neighborhood activity.

“They react to the sounds and bright flashes of fireworks, which may trigger the fight or flight instinct,” Mayeda said.  “The fight instinct could cause a friendly pet to bite out of fear and the flight instinct would cause them to run from the noise and excitement.”

To keep pets safe during Fourth of July activities, the Department of Animal Care and Control recommends that residents:

  • Make sure each pet’s license is current and be sure the tags are securely affixed to each pet’s collar.
  • Microchip each pet.
  • Keep pets indoors in a cool, comfortable place with some “white noise” distraction such as a radio or television.
  • Do not keep pets in the backyard or tied up. Dogs, in particular, may panic and injure themselves on a rope or chain.
  • Do not take pets to community fireworks events. Most events do not allow pets. The noise and other activities at these events can easily surprise and frighten pets.
  • Make sure to leave pets with someone who will be cautious and responsible during the 4th of July celebrations.
  • Make sure properties are secured, including backyard fences, gates or any other openings where a pet might fit through if they accidentally escape.

Microchipping can cost anywhere from $15 to $25 at local pet scores, veterinary clinics, pet hospitals and select Animal Care and Control centers.

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