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Tips to keep pets safe on July 4th weekend

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Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) is bracing for what is sure to be one of their busiest weekends of the year. Each year, during the days surrounding 4th of July, hundreds of pets become frightened by fireworks and run away from their homes and yards. These pets, lost and confused, often end up at VCAS animal adoption centers in Camarillo and Simi Valley. “The sights, sounds and smells of fireworks can be terrifying for some pets,” said Tara Diller, VCAS Director. “By following some very simple safety tips, people can keep their animals safe and secure while they enjoy 4th of July festivities.”

Pet Safety Tips:
  1. Do not take your pet to fireworks displays.
  2. Do not leave your pet alone in the car – Pets can suffer serious health effects, even death, in a few short minutes when left in a hot car. Unfortunately, partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they can provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
  3. Make sure your pets are properly licensed and wearing identification tags, so that if they become lost, they can be returned promptly. Make sure that tags have current phone numbers and VCAS has current owner contact information on file.
  4. Get your pet microchipped or, if it already is, make sure the microchip company has your current contact information.
  5. Animals found running at-large should be taken to a VCAS animal adoption center, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.
  6. Keep your pets in a comfortable and quiet area during Fourth of July festivities. If your pet is crate trained, then their crate is a great choice.
  7. Be sure that you remove any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company if you won’t be home.
  8. If your pet seeks comfort in a bath tub, under a bed or other small space, let them. Do not try to lure them out. If the space is safe and it makes them feel more secure, leave them there.
  9. Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
  10. If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder or fireworks, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.

Those who do lose a pet can search for it on VCAS’ website: www.vcas.us or by using their free iPhone/Android mobile pet adoption apps. The iPhone version of the app can be downloaded at the Apple iTunes store and, the Android version can be downloaded at Google Play. In addition, VCAS posts photos of all lost animals brought into their adoption centers on the VCLostPets Twitter site.

July 1, 2014

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