(SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.) With the 4th of July holiday only a week away, the Santa Barbara County Animal Services Program reminds pet owners that many domestic animals are frightened by fireworks. Each year, hundreds of animals are lost as a result of noise related to Independence Day celebrations. Animal Services wants pet owners to take precautions prior to the festivities to ensure a happy and safe celebration for all.
• Make sure your dog is wearing a current license tag and update microchip information. A license tag is your dog’s ticket home. Animal Services will be quickly reuniting lost animals with their family if the animal is wearing a license or is microchipped and your information is up to date. Animal Services provides free lifetime microchip information for pets that have already been microchipped. If your animal is not microchipped, Animal Services offers microchips for $30 which includes lifetime registration. Microchips can be placed from 2-4:30PM Monday through Friday and 2-3:30PM on Saturdays with no advanced appointment needed until Tuesday, July 3rd. Remember to tag your cat, too.
• Keep pets inside. Bring indoor/outdoor cats and dogs inside. Set up a nice quiet spot in a windowless room, if possible, or keep them in a carrier or kennel. Even if you think your yard is secure, a frightened dog will find a way to escape and a tied up dog may hurt itself trying to get away.
• Leave the TV or radio on to distract pets. Soothing noise may help keep pets calm.
• Walk your dog before the fireworks start. Tiring out your dog with a nice long walk or game of fetch can help them relax and stay calm through the noise.
• Do not bring your pet to a fireworks display. For their safety and the safety of others, please leave your pet(s) at home.
• If your dog or cat is especially noise sensitive, consider having someone stay home with them, taking them to a boarding facility, or discuss sedatives with your veterinarian.
• Keep your dog crated, to ensure they stay safe and home. Provide them with activities, like dog toys, to pass the time and leave a radio on low. You can even cover the crate to provide more security. If you do not have a crate, you may borrow one from your local Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelter by providing a copy of your photo ID.
If, after taking all precautions, your cat or dog runs away, visit your local County Animal Services Shelter in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria or Lompoc. County Animal Services shelters will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th. All three sites will resume normal business hours at 9AM on Thursday, July 5th. If your dog or cat is not at the shelter, be persistent and keep checking back; it may take several days for them to arrive. To help locate your pet you can post flyers in your neighborhood with a current photo of your pet and a phone number where you can be reached, use social media, and place a lost pet advertisement in the local paper.
For more information on lost pets contact your local shelter:
• La PAWS in Lompoc 805-737-7755
• Santa Maria Animal Center 805-934-6119
• Santa Barbara Shelter 805-681-5285.