There’s nothing independent about Independence Day for a family whose pet has run away. Your Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas is reminding owners that more American pets run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year.
“The best thing you can do is prevent it from happening,” says RCHS spokesman John Van Zante. “Dogs don't want to watch fireworks. It’s loud and confusing. It echoes. No matter where they go there’s more noise…so they keep running. Leave them home.”
Van Zante cautions people NOT to leave pets outdoors…even in a fenced yard. “Even a small dog can clear a 6 foot fence if it’s scared enough. Leave pets indoors and in a secure area. Turn on the radio or TV to mask the sound. Some pets need medication to deal with the stress.”
Many pets escape by pulling out of their collars. If they don't have a microchip, they have no identification. Your best bet is a collar AND a microchip with current, accurate information.
If your pet does run away on the 4th of July, Van Zante says, “Contact the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. Be patient. It’s their busiest day of the year. Post a notice with photo on Craig's List, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Give enough, but not too much information.”
Be careful if you FIND a lost pet. It's probably scared. If it has a collar and identification, contact the owner. If not, get it into an enclosed area and contact County Animal Services.
“4th of July picnics can be dangerous for pets,” adds Van Zante. “It's hot, they beg, and they bark. People put them in a hot car or tie them to a bumper. Emergency hospitals treat dogs that burn their paws on hot coals, touch their noses to grills, choke on chicken bones, and swallow kebab skewers. Leave them home.”
RCHS warns owners that dogs can burn their paws on hot sidewalk, pavement, or sand and that a dog can over-heat at the beach, as well as anywhere else. Make sure that your dog has access to shade, something safe to stand or lay on, and plenty of water.
For more information about keeping pets safe during the 4th of July visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to sdpets.org.
Have a happy and safe Independence Day. Keep your pets at home.
—Rancho Coastal Humane Society