The Fourth of July brings loud noises, including fireworks.
While enjoyable to many humans, the festivities scare pets, according to the Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“They don’t understand it (the noise). It’s very frightening,” said Jane Grobaty, Parks, Recreation and Marine spokeswoman. “They’re just anxious and are going to look for a safe place.”
LBACS had 39 dogs brought in between July 4 and July 5 last year, Grobaty said, while a typical day usually has 11. However, some animals that flee during fireworks are killed by cars or are never reunited with their guardians, according to PETA.
Cats and more rare animals, including rabbits and possums, also have anxiety problems, Grobaty said, but those weren’t the public’s main concern. Dogs, compared to cats, are usually more dependent on humans.
“Cats don’t behave like dogs do,” she said. “They just kind of run off somewhere.”
Another increased problem around the Fourth of July was owners feeding pets scraps from their plates at barbecues, which they never should do, she said.
To help ease pets and avoid runaways, the LBACS offers the following tips:
o Play soothing music, lower the blinds to block outside sights and sounds, spend time with pets, using a calm voice. PETA suggests using recordings, such as “Through a Dog’s Ear,” and wraps, such as the Thundershirt.
o Keep pets indoors at home.
o Keep crate-trained dogs in their crate, covered with a blanket.
o Do not feed pets scraps from the grill or other human food. Onion, avocado, grapes and raisins may be toxic. Bones, especially from chicken, should not be fed to pets.
o Keep flames, matches and lighter fluid away from pets.
o Do not spray pets with sunscreen or insect repellent intended for humans, as it may be irritating to the central nervous system, stomach and lungs.
o Ensure yard gates and doors are secured, even if pets are indoors.
o Ensure pets wear identification with name and phone number of the owner, as well as confirm pets’ microchip registration information is accurate.
It’s best to have pets micro-chipped so they may be reunited with their owners, according to LBACS. The LBACS will partner with Spay Neuter Project Los Angeles to offer a Low Cost Vaccination and Microchip Clinic from 4 to 7 pm, today, Thursday, July 2, at Scherer Park, 4600 Long Beach Blvd. It will take place every first and third Thursday after that. Micro chipping is $15. For more information, visit www.longbeach.gov/acs/about-us/low-cost-clinics/.
LBACS will be closed on Saturday, July 4, but will open on Sunday, July 5. Officers will respond 24 hours a day to emergency calls at (562) 570-7387. Staff will contact owners of lost pets with identification tags or microchips. Animals with identification will be held for 14 days. Pets without identification will be held at least six days before being processed for adoption.
The LBACS PD Pitchford Companion Animal Village is at 7700 E. Spring St. It is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm, Wednesday through Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. It’s closed on holidays. For more information, visit www.longbeach.gov/acs/.
Emily Thornton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.