Hoping to avoid a repeat of the annual problem of runaway pets crowding shelters, animal-advocacy officials urged pet owners to keep their animals inside Thursday and as far away as possible from fireworks.
Dogs and cats can escape from small openings in houses and fenced yards in search of a safe place and may be injured in traffic or wind up in a crowded local shelter, officials warned.
Animal-care experts advised owners to:
— make sure pets have up-to-date identification tags and, if possible, a microchip registered with owner contact information;
— keep pets inside in an enclosed room or, if they must go outside, make sure gates and fences are very secure;
— create a safe space at home, off limits to guests, with windows closed and covered, and plenty of water and food; and
— be sure to leave animals with a responsible party if leaving town for the holiday.
Owners who do lose their pets, despite all precautions, are urged to quickly post signs in the neighborhood and go to the city or county animal shelter nearest to where the animal was last seen with a photo and detailed information about the dog or cat.
The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services warned that loud noises aren’t the only threat to pets on the Fourth of July. According to the agency, animals can also suffer severe health consequences if they eat used or unused fireworks.
“Pets ingesting large amounts of fireworks can suffer tremors or seizures, along with acute kidney failure, bone marrow changes, shallow breathing and jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin,” according to Animal Services.
Pets who develop such symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible, officials said.
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