Protect your pet from Fourth of July frights

July 3, 2012 

Protect your pets this Fourth of July by following a few simple steps. Even though your pet may be accustomed to loud noises, disturbances and disruptions, they may still become startled with the Fourth of July activities.

Maybe your neighbors are throwing firecrackers or setting off bottle rockets. You could be having a neighborhood party and watching a fireworks display. Any unusual activity such as this could cause your pet to become frightened, running away to avoid the unknown, eventually becoming lost while trying to find a safe place.

There is a good chance a pet found running loose is because of the noisy fireworks. It has been said that July 5 is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters. I know we do pick up more loose pets during this time, but there are ways to prevent your pet from being frightened and getting loose.

Keeping your pets indoors at all times during the celebrations is ideal. It would even be better if someone stayed home with your pet, just for comfort and security. Making them feel safe by talking to them, petting and hugging is also reassuring. You can play music or turn up the volume on the television to drown out the noise from the fireworks.

And just be normal. Keep your normal routine with your pet. If you are able to close your blinds it may help to not bring attention to the outdoor activities and noises. Lastly, as much as your pet may beg you, avoid those barbecue scraps. Changing their diet could cause your pet to get an upset stomach and you to have a clean-up issue later.

If your pet does manage to get scared and run off, check with all of the local animal shelters. You can find this information on our website at www.mymanatee.org/pets. Of course, you can insure your pet will be returned by having a license tag and a microchip. Please do all you can to keep your pet safe this Fourth of July, and always.

A new look for vans

There's a new look for Animal Services. Until now, our Animal Services vans were not visibly known in the community. They only had a Manatee County logo on the doors, making them look like any other county vehicle. Since we are working very hard to become a no-kill community, we want to make our presence known, everywhere we go. The image

we express is captured in these vans now as the officers are all over the county, showing who we are and what we represent.

The distinction for our division of Animal Services is apparent and now stands out in the community. The Animal Services vans have our logo paw prints on each side, a red stripe across the bottom of each side with "Animal Services" in white. On the rear doors you will see our No Kill logo and the website address. If you see one of our vans around town, don't hesitate to talk with the officers who are well-versed with all animal-related issues. If you don't have an animal issue, maybe just a smile and a wave will do. Know that we are here to assist in any way possible.

If you never have to look into the eyes of a dog or cat and make a choice, you are lucky. One day, we all would like to be lucky too.

Adopt your new fuzzy and furry family member from Manatee County Animal Services today. Don't forget about our July adoption special. We are showing our patriotism by offering "Red, White and Blue" specials. Adoption fees are only $35 each, for dogs or cats, which includes current license certificate/tag, health check, microchip, and current vaccinations.

Free and low cost spay and neuter programs, call our information line at 941-749-3067.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column for the Bradenton Herald.

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