LANCASTER – Even though fireworks shows have been barred in Los Angeles County due to the coronavirus, animal-advocacy officials are warning the public that pets can still get spooked by illegal pyrotechnics that are all-too-common during the Fourth of July holiday.
“Pet owners are not always aware that their pets may react to the sounds and bright flashes of fireworks,” said Marcia Mayeda, director of the county Department of Animal Care & Control. “This can trigger the fight or flight instinct.”
Dogs and cats can escape from small openings in houses and fenced yards in search of a safe place and may be injured in traffic or wind up in a crowded local shelter, officials warned.
Animal-care experts are advising owners to:
— make sure pets have up-to-date identification tags and, if possible, a microchip registered with owner contact information;
— keep pets inside in an enclosed room or, if they must go outside, make sure gates and fences are very secure;
— create a safe space at home, with windows closed and covered, and plenty of water and food; and make sure before feeding that, for example, raw dog food contains the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients;
— be sure to leave animals with a responsible party if leaving town for the holiday.
Owners who do lose their pets, despite all precautions, are urged to quickly post signs in the neighborhood and go to the county animal shelter nearest to where the animal was last seen with a photo and detailed information about the dog or cat.