Have a Pet Safe Fourth of July

By Susan Klein-Rothschild for Santa Barbara County Public Health

The Santa Barbara County Animal Services Department wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday and reminds pet owners that many domestic animals are frightened by fireworks.

Each year, hundreds of animals are lost as a result of noise related to Independence Day celebrations. Animal Services wants to remind pet owners to take precautions prior to the festivities to ensure a happy and safe celebration for all.

– 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 ​microchipped and your information is up to date. If your animal is not wearing a tag, you can pick one up from your local Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelter for no charge before July 3. Remember to tag your cat, too.

– Keep them 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 strangle itself trying to get away.

– Leave the TV or radio on to distract them; soothing noise may help keep pets calm.

– Walk Fido 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, boarding them, or discuss sedatives with your veterinarian.

– Keep your dog crated, to ensure they stay safe and home. Provide them with activities, like Kongs, 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 the Santa Maria Animal Center or La PAWS Adoption Center by providing a copy of your photo ID

If after taking all precautions your cat or dog runs away, visit your local County Animal Services Shelter in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria or Lompoc.

All three County Animal Services shelters will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, and will resume normal business hours at 9 a.m. on July 5.

If your dog or cat is not at the shelter, be persistent and keep checking back; it may take several days for them to arrive. To help locate your pet we suggest posting flyers in your neighborhood with a current photo of your pet and a phone number where you can be reached, using social media, and placing a lost pet advertisement in the local paper.

For more information contact your local shelter:

La PAWS Adoption Center at 1501 West Central Avenue, Lompoc, 805.737.7755.

Santa Maria Animal Center at 548 W. Foster Road, 805.934.6119.

Santa Barbara Shelter at 5473 Overpass Road, Goleta, 805.681.5285.