The Kent County Animal Shelter is advising pet owners to take precautions in the days leading up to the Fourth of July, as fireworks may disrupt the behavior of animals.
The animal shelter published a video with steps on how to help pets cope with fireworks.
“This can be a difficult time for pets and pet owners,” said Namiko Ota-Noveskey, program supervisor at Kent County Animal Shelter. “We want to make sure pet owners know what to do in case their animal becomes anxious and who to call if they see stray animals who may have run away from home.”
Ota-Novesky offered the following fireworks tips for dog and cat owners:
- Keep your pets indoors during fireworks to prevent them from running away.
- Walk your dog during daylight hours so you can keep them inside at night when people are most likely to use fireworks.
- If you know your dog has a hard time with fireworks, talk to your veterinarian about medications that might be able to help with your pet’s anxiety.
- Make sure your pet has access to a comfortable place to hide and try not to move them from their hiding space, as this can cause additional stress.
- Muffle the sound of fireworks by closing all windows and doors. You also can turn on music or the television to help soften the jarring noises.
- Consider staying indoors with your pets to offer them comfort and reassurance.
- Make sure your animals have an ID tag or chip in case they get lost and the information connected to your pets’ microchip is up to date.
Pet owners can register their pets for Finding Rover’s facial recognition software by uploading a picture of their pet to Finding Rover. A person who finds a lost animal can take a photo of them and the website will do a facial recognition search, showing owners the lost animals that look similar to their pet.
In Kent County, fireworks are generally allowed from 11 a.m.-11:45 p.m. from June 29-July 4, but local township ordinances may differ. To report a violation of the fireworks ordinance, residents should call the nonemergency number of the local police department.
For concerns regarding a loose animal or animal welfare during normal business hours, residents should call (616) 632-7310. For concerns after hours and on holidays, residents should call the nonemergency number of their local police department.