July 4 fireworks terrifying for many dogs

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Most humans love fireworks. Our pets, however, are not fans. The day after July 4 generally is one of the busiest of the year for animals shelters all over the country. Spooked pets run for cover and find themselves lost, or worse, lost and hurt.

Emilie Sinur from the Arizona Animal Welfare League, with the help of Bowie, a lovely 2-year-old dog looking for his forever home, sat down with 3TV's Javier Soto to share some tips to help you keep your pets -- particularly yours dogs -- safe and at home while you enjoy the fireworks show.

First, resist the urge to take pets to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area inside your home.

Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear of loud noises, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape or become entangled in their chain, causing injury or death.
Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company while you're attending picnics, parades, and other celebrations. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so remove any items your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed.

Never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can result in severe burns and trauma to the face and paws of curious pets. Even unused fireworks can pose a danger, as many types contain toxic substances such as potassium nitrate and arsenic.

Make sure your pets have a microchip and are wearing identification tags so that, if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large without owner identification should be taken to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.

Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects -- even death -- in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also possible.

If you are using a barbecue grill, always keep an eye on your pet, to be sure anything hot is out of reach of hungry dog noses. Remember some food and drinks may be toxic to pets.
Also make sure gates to your yard are kept closed, so your pet does not get lost while you entertain guests.

If your pet does get lost, MCACC suggests you check with their two shelters every two days.

MCACC says it's also a good idea to file a missing pet report on Pets911.com and PetHarbor.com.

An ad in the lost-and-found section of Craigslist also can be helpful. It's quick and easy to do and more effective than you might think. Bretta Nelson at the Arizona Humane Society told us a couple of years ago that Craigslist posts helped reunite more than 1,000 lost pets with their owners in 2011.

Check with the local vet offices and animals shelters, including the Arizona Humane Society and MCACC, as soon as possible.

Be patient. July 5 is a very busy day for shelters as they work to reunite lost dogs with their families. But also be aware that the clock is ticking.

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

Maricopa County Animal Care & Control
602-506-PETS (7387)
West Valley Center, 2323 S. 35th Ave.
East Valley Center, 2630 W. Eighth St.

Arizona Humane Society
Campus for Compassion 1521 W. Dobbins Road
Sunnyslope facility 9226 N. 13th Ave.

As for Bowie...

Sinur said Bowie is friendly dog that would make a wonderful addition to almost any family. If you are interested in adopting Bowie, check out AAWL.org or call 602-273-6852.