Fireworks: Fun for you, frightening for Fido

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While people all over the country are looking forward to the traditional Fourth of July fireworks show, it's important to remember that what's fun and entertaining to us can be terrifying to our pets.

Frightened by the explosions and bright flashes of light, it's not uncommon for frightened animals to dig under or jump over fences. Even the best-behaved and most well-trained animals run when they're scared. And once they're out of familiar territory, they get lost.

Personnel at animal shelters throughout the Valley, including Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and Arizona Humane Society facilities, say that July 5 is usually their busiest day of the year because so many animals get loose during Fourth of July fireworks.

Summer is an especially dangerous time for an animal to be lost and on its own. Without water, animals can easily suffer heat exhaustion or dehydration. Roaming streets and sidewalks that have been baking in the Arizona sun often lead to burned paws.

Both Animal Care and Control and the AHS have some simple suggestions to help pet owners keep their animals safe this holiday.


Arizona Petline 602-252-2727

Missing Mutts 480-898-8914

Pets 911 1-888-PETS-911 (738-7911)

Arizona Humane Society

602- 997-7585

Campus for Compassion 1521 W. Dobbins Road

Sunnyslope facility 9226 N. 13th Ave.

Animal Care & Control

602-506-PETS (7387)

West Valley Center 2323 S. 35th Ave.

East Valley Center 2630 W. Eighth St.

First, keep your pets indoors. If you are hosting a party, be sure to watch for open doors and gates. Pets are quick and can slip away before you know it. If you do have to take your animal outside, make sure it is securely on a leash.

If you can, confine your pet to a single room where it will feel safe. Make sure it has plenty of food and water (but don't overfeed) and lots of toys to play with. You might also consider turning on a radio or television to drown out the noise of the fireworks. Also be sure to pet-proof the room, removing anything that could hurt your pet if chewed or swallowed.

Whatever you do, do not take your animal to an event featuring fireworks. Between the noise of the show and the bustling crowd, chances are good your pet could get away from you.

Finally, make sure your animal has current identification. Make sure to include your name and at least two phone numbers on the tag. If your pet does run away, that will increase the chances your getting it back safely.

If your pet does run away, visit the AHS Sunnyslope facility, as well as the Maricopa County facilities.

People who lose pets, as well as those that find them, should report it online at Pets 911 .

Be aware that the law only requires shelters to hold animals for 72 hours before putting them up for adoption. What's more, pet suffering irreparable injuries or failing health and temperament exams may be euthanized after that 72-hour period.