July 4th: Frightening Time for Our Pets

July 3, 2008 9:48:11 PM PDT
Many pets will run off this fourth, scared by the loud noises.Now a south valley animal shelter warns a lack of volunteers and packed conditions could make it difficult to get pets back to their owners after Independence Day.

SPCA workers want to advise pet owners who are going to a fireworks show or are bringing some fireworks home to make sure your pets are secure at home. Then noise can scare away pets big or small and cause them to run away.

This little Black Labrador puppy was brought into the shelter Thursday afternoon. It's the first of many more dogs and cats expected to flood the Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia this weekend as a result of July 4th fireworks.

Lanie Wagenburg, SPCA: "They've been known to break through screens even windows jump fences just trying to get away from all the commotion."

Wagenburg says so many of them wind up lost. The SPCA has also given stacks of flyers to all the fireworks vendors in Visalia that list information about how to prevent losing your pet when fireworks go off. Extra Animal Control Officers like Nathan Sosa will be out this weekend to gather up the furry friends that get away.

Nathan Sosa, Animal Control: "Last year was pretty bad we had a stack of missing reports two inches."

Last year the Watson family spent their July 4th searching for their missing Basset Hound after a fireworks show the night before. In previous years, pet owners could stop by Plaza Park to look for their pet. This year, reduced staffing has forced the SPCA to bring all lost pets to the already packed facility off Plaza Drive.

Lanie: "Indoors would be the best and just keep an eye on them and you can play nice soothing music to mask some of the sounds."
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Special Hotline for July 5th and 6th Only

If You Lose a Pet: 740-3491
If You Find a Pet: 471-6877
Valley Oak SPCA Lost Pet Line: 471-7111
Valley Oak SPCA - 651-1111

Suggestions to prevent pets from running away during fireworks:
1. Play soothing music
2. Bring your pet inside in a quiet, protected area
3. Stay at home with your pet
4. Don't take your dog near fireworks
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