Precautions for pets on July Fourth

More family pets will run away from home on the Fourth of July than during any other day of the year because of fireworks. Helen Woodward Animal Center encourages families to take a few simple precautions to make sure that their pets are safe during fireworks celebrations.

HWAC spokesman John Van Zante says, “Even if the fireworks are several miles away, the sound can terrify family pets. If they don’t have safe places to hide, or if there’s a way for them to run out a door or escape through a fence, your pet will be gone.”

HWAC offers a few suggestions for families to keep their pets safe this week.

  • Do not take your pets along to the fireworks displays.
  • Bring your pets indoors before fireworks displays begin.
  • Make sure that your pets have access to their favorite “safe place” or find a quiet, comfortable, enclosed room where your pets can “hide” if they need to.
  • If you go to a fireworks display and leave your pets at home alone, leave the radio or TV set on so there is some “normal” background noise.

“This is also a great time to make sure your pets are micro-chipped.” says Van Zante. “Many pets that run away during the fireworks escape by slipping out of their collars. A micro-chip will identify your pet if it ends up at a shelter.”
What if your pet escapes in spite of your efforts? “Search through your neighborhood right away … then keep it up. Don’t quit after a day or two. Check with the animal shelters and keep checking for several weeks. You can also post signs in your neighborhood, but the best thing to do is to make sure your pets never get out to begin with.”

For more information call Helen Woodward Animal Center at 756-4117 or visit the Center at 6461 El Apajo Road. For the location of all animal shelters in San Diego log on to