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Overcrowded shelters warn pet owners ahead of July 4th fireworks

Shelter dog stretching in kennel
Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 18:03:40-04

TAMPA, Fla — As the Independence Day holiday weekend begins, while many people will celebrate with fireworks; local shelters are reminding pet owners to take extra precautions because of those celebrations.

“For Fourth of July, it’s a scary time for animals. Boom, boom, boom, they hear all these things and we know what’s going on as humans, we know it’s a celebration, but they have no idea," Christine McLarty, with The Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Fireworks and the colorful display can make our pets anxious. That's why local shelters often see an influx of runaway dogs this time of year. But, this year, The Humane Society of Tampa Bay told ABC Action News that local shelters need everyone’s help.

“Shelters around the country are really crowded right now. So, now more than ever we need people to take care of their animals this Fourth of July. Take the extra precautions to keep them in their house so they aren’t running away and ending up lost," McLarty said.

Veterinarian, Dr. Brooke Certa, said the Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous times of the year for pets.

“When pets get out, there is always the potential that they’re out on the road. They could get hit by a car. They’re scared. So, injury is the biggest thing that we probably see," Dr. Brooke Certa explained.

Dr. Certa said it’s crucial pets are microchipped or have a collar with updated contact information. She said signs to look out for in an anxious pet include: panting, pacing, or trying to hide.

“We do have medications that… We can use for the Fourth of July to help decrease anxiety... Other things would be like noise canceling. So white noise machines, maybe you have the T.V. up louder so they can’t hear the noises as much of the fireworks,"Dr. Certa added.

Dr. Certa also said having a safe place your pet can escape to will help them feel safe.