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ACS offers tips to keep pets safe from fireworks, New Year’s Eve celebrations across SA

RJ MARQUEZDECEMBER 28, 2018, 12:12 PM  

ABC San Antonio ch. 12

Animal Care Services in San Antonio wants residents to keep pets protected while celebrating the new year.

The pops, whizzes and booms from fireworks can frighten pets and cause them to run off or become frightened.

ACS reminds pet owners to have pets microchipped and suggests keeping pets inside during fireworks.

Pet owners can also ask veterinarians about a variety of remedies available to soothe a pet’s nerves.

“There are several different options to help with noise phobias. Some of them are over the counter, natural products, others are more hardcore and medications that we use for the ones with extreme phobias,” said Susan Nelson, clinical professor at the Pet Health Center at Kansas State University.

Even if a pet is calm, experts warn they should never accompany owners outside when igniting fireworks.

Dogs may try to retrieve fireworks once their lit or grab what’s left of fireworks once they’ve gone off.

Animal Care Services offers these tips to protect your pet this holiday:

  • Pets don’t like loud noises . Fireworks displays are no place for pets. Leave pets at home in a secured, quiet area where they will be safe.
  • Give your pet some peace and quiet. A closed-off area inside your home can be a blessing for a pet nervous about all the noise and commotion associated with the festivities. Remember some pets get destructive when they’re frightened so be sure to remove anything your pet could destroy.
  • Try to provide some toys to occupy your pet while you’re out. If your pet is crate trained, make sure they can curl up inside if they get scared. Fresh food and water are a must and a treat or two wouldn’t hurt either.
  • Never leave pets unattended outside, even in a fenced yard or on a tether. Pets can overreact when they’re scared, and that dog who’d never leave your yard before could easily dig a hole under the fence to escape the noise.
  • Fear of the fireworks and outside gatherings can also cause your pet to become dangerously entangled in their tether. By law, tethered dogs must have a collar, and chain tethers of any weight are not allowed per San Antonio’s animal care ordinance.
  • Protect your pet from pranksters. Many animal cruelty cases start out as what some consider “harmless pranks.” But there’s nothing harmless about shooting fireworks at a pet. Bring outdoors pets indoors, at least for the evening. Animal Care Services will investigate anyone suspected of cruelly treating any animal.
  • A collar and microchip ID can help your pet get back home if they get lost. Roaming animals stand the risk of being picked up by the city’s Animal Care Officers. Your pet’s ID is more than their ticket home. City microchip licenses can be implanted anytime during regular ACS business hours.

Animal Care Services will close at 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and be closed entirely for New Year’s Day but Animal Care Officers are still on the job.

The shelter will re-open at 11 a.m., Jan. 2, for residents interested in adopting a pet or who may have lost their pet during the holiday.

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