Animal owners warned Fourth of July fireworks can startle pets - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Animal owners warned Fourth of July fireworks can startle pets

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The noise and commotion involved in Fourth of July celebrations can frighten pets and county Animal Services officials offered a few tips to keep pets safe Wednesday.

Fireworks displays and other holiday noisemakers can trigger a pet's escape or "flight" response which could cause serious injuries, even death, according to Dawn Danielson, director of San Diego County Animal Services.

"Pets may dig under, climb over or break through gates, screens, fences, windows or door and hurt themselves or get lost," Danielson said. "Any time pets are loose, they may face even greater dangers from vehicles or other animals."

County Animal Services advised pet owners to not take pets to fireworks displays and to not leave pets inside a car as they could suffer serious health effects with only hot air to breathe.

Pets should be kept indoors in a sheltered quiet area and because some can become destructive when frightened, dangerous objects that could be chewed should be removed, according to county Animal Services. A television or radio left playing at a normal level could keep pets company.

Pets should not be left outside unattended, even in a fenced yard, as some that would not normally leave the yard could escape and get lost, and if a pet is seriously disturbed by loud noises, a veterinarian could decide whether anxiety-relieving medication would be appropriate, Animal Services officials said.

Animal Services officials asked those who have found a lost pet to call (619) 767-2675. Those who have lost pets should visit the nearest shelter or check the San Diego County Department of Animal Services website at

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