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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 11:44 pm | Fair 52º


Be Aware: July 4 Fireworks Shows Aren’t a Blast for Dogs, Cats

Many pets, terrified by the explosive sounds, run away during the aerial displays

Many dogs and cats end up in local animal shelters after becoming terrified and running away during July 4 fireworks shows. Animal Services officials offer advice for keeping pets calm and safe during the celebrations.
Many dogs and cats end up in local animal shelters after becoming terrified and running away during July 4 fireworks shows. Animal Services officials offer advice for keeping pets calm and safe during the celebrations. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

For most people, July 4 is synonymous with barbecues, beer and all things red, white and blue.

And a big attraction — beyond a day off from work for most people — is the fireworks. Every year, residents and visitors turn out for the various pyrotechnic displays offered throughout Santa Barbara County.

But while the crowds are oohing and aahing the aerial shows, many of their pets can become terrified when exposed to the explosive sounds.

Hundreds of animals are lost each year as a result of the loud noises produced by the fireworks, according to Santa Barbara County Animal Services. The sound, which is infinitely louder for pets due to their acute hearing, frightens most animals and can cause them to run away.

“The noises are loud and erratic,” said Stacy Silva, an Animal Services community outreach coordinator. “They’re not something any animal is used to, and it’s exceptionally frightening.

"If [the animals] are kept in a yard, they can’t tell that the noise isn’t coming from their area. Their reaction is to try and get away as fast as possible.”

In an effort to combat this, Animal Services has compiled a list of precautions and tips in order to ensure your pet’s safety during this time.

» Current tags and microchips are strongly recommended for all animals--yes, even cats--as this will drastically increase the speed of your lost pet’s return.

» If possible, keep pets inside in a quiet room, or in their kennels. Regardless of the security of a yard, when frightened, pets will attempt anything to get away.

» For animals that are extremely noise sensitive, have someone stay at home with them, or consider a boarding kennel for the night.

» Smaller sounds are encouraged, like the TV and radio, since these can distract pets from the larger disturbances and keep them calm.

» Try and tire out your pets before the show starts. Especially with dogs, a nice long walk will help them stay more relaxed.

» Above all else, they strongly advise not to take your pet to the fireworks show.

In the event that these preventative measures do not work, make sure to contact your nearest Animal Services Shelter to find lost pets.

There are locations in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc. 

Noozhawk intern Sarah Scarminach can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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