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4th of July safety tips for dog owners



Fourth of July fireworks are no fun for dogs. Historically, Washoe County Regional Animal Services is flooded with calls from pet owners searching for dogs that became lost while trying to flee from the loud noise of the fireworks.

On July 4 and 5 of 2011, Regional Animal Services retrieved 73 lost dogs over a 24-hour period.

“Most lost dog reports involve dogs that were left out in the yard during the fireworks,” Regional Animal Services Manager Barry Brode said. “But we have had reports of dogs taking more extreme measures, such as jumping through open windows, in their effort to escape the noise.

“These dogs are often found many miles from home and we’ve heard stories of dogs hiding under decks or sheds for days after the fireworks.”

Regional Animal Services offers the following safety tips to pet owners for the Fourth of July holiday:

  • Before the fireworks start, bring and keep your dog inside.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • Leave a radio, television, fan or air conditioner on as these will help to lower the noise from outside.
  • If you know your dog does experience extreme anxieties to loud noises, it may be worthwhile to contact your veterinarian to see what recommendations they have.
  • The best way for everyone to get the most enjoyment from a firework display is to leave your pets at home.

Regional Animal Services staff also encourage dog owners to make sure all pets have identification tags and microchips just in case they do get lost. This will expedite getting pets and their families reunited.

“Our goal is to help all members of your family enjoy a happy and safe Fourth of July celebration,” Brode said.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.

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