FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants pet owners to celebrate Independence Day while keeping their pets safe and secure.
Officials say dogs, cats and even small animals can easily become overwhelmed by the sudden explosions of fireworks.
The sudden explosions can cause panic and fear leading to a spike in runaway pets.
The celebrations and picnics can also put your pets at risk.
Here are tips to keep your pets safe:
- Keep pets inside your home or inside an air-conditioned building as much as possible when fireworks are being used in your area.
- Secure gates and supervise your animals while outside.
- Keep current identification on your pet’s collar.
- Ensure your pets are microchipped and all the information is current.
- Give pets a safe place to hide (a bedroom or other quiet space) turn on a television, radio, fan or other ambient noise to drown out the sound of fireworks.
- You can also talk to your veterinarian about medications that can help keep your pet calm during fireworks.
- Pets should not be taken to any celebration where fireworks or sirens occur.
- Loud noises increase the chance of your pet fleeing and becoming lost in an unfamiliar area.
- Never take your pet in the car with you.
- Even on a 70-degree day the inside of a car can reach temperatures of 120 degrees or more in a matter of minutes.
- Partially opened windows won’t provide sufficient air, but do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen, experience a seizure or even death.
- While fireworks have the potential to cause serious toxicity for pets, common concerns with exposure to fireworks include gastrointestinal upset, corrosive injury, dermal burns and possible foreign body obstruction.
- Keep pool chemicals and products away from your pets while celebrating at pools as these can cause serious toxic exposure when pets come into direct contact with them.
- Keep pets away from picnic foods to avoid toxic exposure.
- These include grapes/raisins, onions, garlic, xylitol (an ingredient commonly found in candy and chewing gum), macadamia nuts, chocolate, avocados, cherry pits and alcohol to name a few.
FWACC says it’s also important to remember that during the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing applies to pets too.
"While the CDC says the risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to people is low, pet owners should not let pets interact with people outside of the household out of an abundance of caution," they said
More recommendations for pet owners regarding COVID-19 can be found here.
Animal Care & Control will be closed for the holiday weekend starting on Friday, July 3.
If your pet is missing, the FWACC business office will be open Monday, July 6 from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. for people to reclaim their pets.
In order to take additional safety precautions amid the pandemic, those picking up their lost pets will need to bring in a photo of their pet so staff members can search the kennels.
Officials say this is because pet owners will not be allowed to walk through the kennel areas.
Anyone who finds a stray animal is asked to file a found report with the shelter.
The animal can be kept in the finder’s home or relinquished to Animal Care & Control, located at 3020 Hillegas Road.
For more information and to immediately report a found pet, call 260-427-1244.