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Animal Services offers helpful tips to have a pet friendly Fourth of July

With Fourth of July just around the corner, it’s now more important than ever to keep some safety tips in mind for a pet-friendly Independence Day celebration.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services reminds pet owners that the loud noises resulting from fireworks during Fourth of July celebrations can frighten pets and cause them to run away and get lost. That’s why the officials offer the following helpful tips:

Make sure your dog is wearing a current license tag and update microchip information. A license tag is your dog’s ticket home. Animal Services will be quickly reuniting lost animals with their family if the animal is wearing a license or is microchipped and your information is up to date. Animal Services provides free lifetime microchip information for pets that have already been microchipped. If your animal is not microchipped, Animal Services offers microchips for $30 which includes lifetime registration. Microchips can be placed from 2-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2-3:30 p.m. on Saturdays with no advanced appointment needed until Tuesday, July 3rd. Remember to tag your cat, too. Keep pets inside. Bring indoor/outdoor cats and dogs inside. Set up a nice quiet spot in a windowless room, if possible, or keep them in a carrier or kennel. Even if you think your yard is secure, a frightened dog will find a way to escape and a tied up dog may hurt itself trying to get away. Leave the TV or radio on to distract pets. Soothing noise may help keep pets calm. Walk your dog before the fireworks start. Tiring out your dog with a nice long walk or game of fetch can help them relax and stay calm through the noise. Do not bring your pet to a fireworks display. For their safety and the safety of others, please leave your pet(s) at home. If your dog or cat is especially noise sensitive: Consider having someone stay home with them, taking them to a boarding facility, or discuss sedatives with your veterinarian. Keep your dog crated: To ensure they stay safe and home. Provide them with activities, like dog toys, to pass the time and leave a radio on low. You can even cover the crate to provide more security. If you do not have a crate, you may borrow one from your local Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelter by providing a copy of your photo ID.

If pets still manage to get away after taking the precautions above, Animal Services suggests pet owners visit their local county animal shelter in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, or Lompoc. Offices will be closed on July 4 but will resume normal business hours on July 5.

If the pet is not at the shelter, Animal Services reminds everyone to keep checking back because it may take several days for pets to arrive the shelters.

For more information on lost pets contact your local shelter:

La PAWS in Lompoc 805-737-7755 Santa Maria Animal Center 805-934-6119 Santa Barbara Shelter 805-681-5285

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