Dallas Animal Services encourages pet owner safety for Fourth of July weekend
Every year during the first week of July, Dallas Animal Services (DAS) faces a sharp intake of lost pets as a result of illegal firework use in Dallas. Nearly one-in-five lost pets goes missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms, or other loud noises, according to a study by the ASPCA.
“Every year, we see lost pets come into our shelter that have no history of escaping, and yet they’ve dug under the fence or pushed their way out of the front door because they’re terrified of the neighbor’s fireworks,” said DAS Interim Director MeLissa Webber. “Even if you think your pet would never run off, it is important that you follow our safety tips to prevent your pet from becoming part of these statistics.”
This year, DAS is encouraging owners to keep their pets secure in their homes.
Other pet safety tips include:
- Ensure that your pets are easy to identify by securing their collars and ID tags, making sure pets are microchipped and that the information registered to their microchip is accurate. Microchipping is required for pets in Dallas and DAS offers $10 microchipping by appointment.
- Keep pets inside and away from doors. Fireworks can trigger your pets’ fight or flight instinct and cause them to flee in fear or charge the threat, risking severe burns. DAS recommends that you use a crate to contain your pet or prepare a quiet space in a room without windows. It’s also best to limit the number of people coming in and out of your home to prevent pets from slipping out the door.
- Leave your pets at home if you go somewhere to view fireworks. Even pets that enjoy outings are likely to be spooked by firework displays and could act unpredictably; they will be more comfortable and safer at home.
- Take the edge off by offering enrichment toys like food-stuffed kongs or puzzle toys and providing background noise such as relaxing music or a calm television show to help drown out the noise outside.
- Watch what your pet puts in their mouth to ensure they don’t ingest something toxic. Independence Day festivities often include toxic foods and beverages like alcohol, garlic and onions or chemicals including pesticides and pool chemicals.
- Report any fireworks or gunfire by calling 9-1-1 immediately.
DAS is also encouraging the adoption or foster of pets currently in shelters to create space for the annual July 4th rise in lost pet intake. DAS is offering free adoptions online and in-person all weekend and has created a completely online foster process at www.BeDallas90.org with curbside pet pick up.
You can adopt a pet in-person this weekend at two locations:
DAS’ main shelter
1818 N. Westmoreland Road
1 p.m.to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday
DAS’ North Dallas PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center (EAC)
Wednesday to Saturday
Visit www.BeDallas90.org for PetSmart EAC hours.
If your pet is spooked by fireworks and runs off OR if you’ve found a stray pet, be sure to take a look at the lost and found pet resources DAS offers for the best possible chance of a reunion of the pet and his or her owner.
For more information on DAS recommendations for pets during this holiday weekend, click here.