CPHS urges July 4 caution

The traditional use of fireworks over the 4th of July holiday weekend may be fun recreation for people but it can be bad news for pets. That’s the message from the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society this season.
“Most people use caution around fireworks,” said CPHS Executive Director Dave Hopkins. “They watch out for each other, but sometimes they forget to watch out for their pets….or the pets of neighbors.”
Fireworks exploding can severely injure or even kill an animal according to emergency officials. People should exercise the same caution around pets they do around people. Commercially sold fireworks including sparklers and non-explosive devices often burn at high temperature and can seriously harm animals.
“We worry as much about the loud and sudden explosions caused by fireworks,” Hopkins adds. “Many animals can be traumatized by them and run for shelter. It’s a time of year when we are inundated with calls from people who lose their pets when they run off to escape the noise, bright lights and confusion that can be caused by fireworks.”
CPHS recommends keeping your pets inside as much as possible during the July 4th celebration, especially at night. If your pet must go out, make sure it has a collar with a license and ID tags in case it does wander or run away to avoid fireworks activity.
To find a lost pet first search your neighborhood and ask residents. Have a photo of the animal with you. Check with the CPHS shelter (but due to high volume calls over this particular weekend, it’s best to go directly to the shelter and look rather than call ahead). CPHS holds unidentified stray animals a minimum of 48 hours before allowing them to be put up for adoption.
Officials at the shelter say you can prevent your animal from ending up as someone else’s pet by making sure he/she has identification whether it be license/tags, a tattoo or micro-chip ID. If you are away on vacation and leave someone in control of your pets, make sure he/she keeps a close watch over them and acts immediately if they wander.
Finally, report any stray animals to your local law or animal enforcement agency as soon as possible if you cannot locate them after an initial search of your area. CPHS charges owners a $12 (per day held) “Return to Owner” fee for housing stray animals.
For more information call CPHS at 942-5402 or check the website: www.altoona.net/cphs.