Keeping Pets Safe and Secure: Tips from Orange County Animal Services
Orange County, Fla. – While Fourth of July fireworks displays are cancelled in many communities due to the pandemic, residents of many cities are reporting repeated fireworks still being set off. The startling loud noises have prompting Orange County Animal Services to urge the community to consider the impact of fireworks on animals.
Fireworks and other commotion can be stressful to pets and can result in them getting lost. Orange County Animal Services joins the Humane Society of the United States in recommending the following steps to help keep pets safe:
- Leave pets at home and inside. Fireworks can be terrifying to pets, even pets who are accustomed to being around people and commotion.
- Create a home sanctuary. Secure your pet in an area of your home where he or she is safe, comfortable and sheltered from any outside noise and lights. An interior room without immediate access to the outside is preferred. Playing a radio with relaxing music may help mask the sound of fireworks.
- Pet-proof your home. When scared, some animals may become destructive so be sure to remove anything from reach that can become damaged or may harm the pet if chewed or eaten.
- Identification is essential. Pets may panic, escape and become lost. Updated identification is critical to ensuring lost pets are reunited with their families. Ideal identification is both a tag and microchip (make sure your chip is registered).
- Consult a veterinarian for pets with anxiety. Consult your veterinarian to seek out remedies to lower your pet’s stress level if this is a known issue.
- Follow the advice of public health officials. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many states, the safest thing you can do for your pet is to follow the guidance of public health authorities by wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and staying home as much as possible. Keeping you and your family away from the virus increases your health and safety, and your ability to care for your pets.
“Pets are our family members, so for many it’s natural to want to include them in festivities, but they are best left out of Fourth of July celebrations,” said Diane Summers, manager for Orange County Animal Services. “They’re safest and most comfortable inside, away from potential hazards.”
Should Orange County residents find stray pets following the holiday, they are recommended to bring them to Orange County Animal Services. While the shelter is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, Animal Services is still accepting stray pets and facilitating owner reclaims.
Residents are highly encouraged to consider celebrating the holiday without fireworks, which can frighten wildlife as well as pets, or with quiet fireworks, as Jamestown, Rhode Island, did last year. However, regardless of how your family celebrates, it is important to take steps to ensure the safety of your pet on a notoriously loud night. Read tips on what to do if your pet becomes lost.