Vet Voices

Fireworks wreak havoc on pets: Here’s how you can keep them safe

Jefferson County

Wintersville, Ohio (WTRF) – The boom and crash of 4th of July fireworks are less than a month away.

And while the clamor is exciting for us humans, those in the animal kingdom have more sensitive ears — and the loud noises can even be life-threatening.

The sound of letting freedom ring is the sound of a busy time for animal shelters, who see their numbers increase many times over in the summer.

Brandi Damewood-DeNoon with the Jefferson County Humane Society says it’s not just Independence Day—the constant fireworks make it feel more like Independence Month.

And no matter how easygoing you think your pet is, the deafening noise can make your four-legged friend panic.

They’re going to run and they’re going to hide. And some of them are really good at hiding.

Brandi Damewood-DeNoon, Community Outreach and Marketing Manager, JCHS

As a result, they end up lost—and shelters across the country begin to fill up.

While Jefferson County has the support to find a home for all of their animals, she says kennels that don’t are often backed into a corner—and often have no choice but to euthanize.

That’s why many animal advocates, including in Jefferson County, are against new legislation passed by Ohio lawmakers this week.

Senate Bill 113 would allow fireworks to be set off on private property during several different holidays throughout the year.

Damewood-DeNoon calls it a threat to not only pets, but also wildlife.

We’re finally getting these amazing numbers of different animals that pretty much were not around here, and they’re coming back and it’s great.

Brandi Damewood-DeNoon, Community Outreach and Marketing Manager, JCHS

So how can you keep the bright lights and crackling sparks from wreaking havoc on your animals?

Dog owners should take their canine friends out on a leash instead of just letting them out the back door.

Cat people aren’t off the hook either—she says not to let them outside, no matter how much they cry.

The Humane Society wants to keep animal lovers from experiencing a heartbreaking situation they see far too often.

It’s really hard whenever you see a pet owner who lost his pet and he comes in and he’s so distraught because this is his life and he can’t find his pet and it’s because of a firework.

Brandi Damewood-DeNoon, Community Outreach and Marketing Manager, JCHS

The shelter says even owners who have a fenced-in yard aren’t safe—because pets will always find a place to wiggle their way out.

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