Pets and fireworks are never a good idea

Dogs and cats do not like the sounds, smells and sights of fireworks. It's best to put pets in the house while enjoying the spectacle of fireworks displays during Independence Day celebrations.
Staff Writer

Dogs and cats do not like loud noises.

The sound of fireworks can trigger a fight or flight impulse in both types of pets.

As Independence Day celebrations are taking place tonight, pet owners should think about the four-legged family members who won't appreciate the fireworks displays.

"We always get calls the day after Independence Day, about dogs who have run away," Lisa Henley, director of the West Point Clay County Animal Shelter said. "Some are never recovered. Dogs and cats have no idea what the loud booms and lights in the sky are. Their hearing is much more acute than a humans. It sounds much louder to dogs and cats than to people."

Henley suggested pets be kept in the house or a storage room if there are fireworks in the area.

"Even if the pet owner isn't using fireworks, you have no control over your neighbors," Henley said. "It's just a good idea to plan to keep your pet safe tonight."

Melanie Elmore, who works at the shelter, has several dogs of her own that she allows to stay in the house during the Fourth of July celebrations and during New Years Eve.

"My dogs hate loud noises," Elmore said. "They get scared if they hear a car backfire, so fireworks scare them to death. I just plan for them to spend the night in the house."

According to the ASPCA, the Fourth of July is the time the most pets disappear. Many will dig under a fence to get away from fireworks. If you love your pets, take the precaution to put them into a safe environment, away from fireworks displays.