Tracy Talks: Keep pets safe during fireworks fun
by Anne Marie Fuller
Jun 26, 2014 | 2338 views | 7 7 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Did you hear that thundering boom? Although fireworks can show a patriotic side, the noise they create can also cause otherwise calm dogs to bolt from the safety of their yards. Animal shelters throughout the nation are overwhelmed during the Fourth of July season, as fireworks can be heard in neighborhoods several weeks before the Fourth and even after.

Locally, I have heard fireworks going off for the past couple of weeks, and already lost dogs are starting wind up at the local animal shelter. Even if you think you have a secure fence, it may be no match for a terrified dog feeling the need to escape the rapid and sequential boom sounds of seasonal fireworks.

Ben Miller, head of the city’s Animal Services Department, said the shelter saw a tremendous increase in lost animals last year in the days leading up to the Fourth of July.

“Please make sure you keep your dog indoors during the evening of July Fourth and the days just prior and right after,” Miller said. “If you know your dog is especially sensitive to fireworks or loud thunder type noises, consider having your vet prescribe an appropriate prescription. If your dog turns up missing, please check the animal shelter right away, as space is of a premium this time of year.”

It can also be helpful to leave on your television, radio or music to obscure the noise of the evening fireworks. Pets work best with familiarity, and I have known several pet owners to keep their television on while they are out.

If you see dogs running around in your neighborhood outside of shelter hours — noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday — call the police department to report the dogs.

Since we are on the subject of dogs and summer, I must bring up a huge issue I see every year — dogs left in parked cars in the heat. Why does this continue to happen? I recently heard of a dog that died, in Arizona, after being left in a mall parking lot during a heat wave. Locally, there has been some debate as to what California Penal Code 597.7 actually says.

“Dogs left in a hot car is not illegal by itself,” Miller said. “If the animal is suffering or likely to suffer, then it may be a crime. Animal Services, per 597.7 of the penal code, gives the power to break the window and remove the dog if the animal’s safety appears to be in immediate danger.”

Miller added that Animal Services can take a reading of the temperature inside the car, and citations can be issued. If an animal suffers great bodily injury, the penal code addresses this with a misdemeanor charge and fines or jail time, or both.

You can report dogs you see left unattended in cars during the summer heat, and many times you can get store employees to make an announcement over a loudspeaker system.

What are your thoughts?

• Anne Marie Fuller, National Mrs. Beauties of the Nation and Mrs. California BOTN, is the host of "Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26. Contact her at annemarie@columnist.com.

 
Comments
(7)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
ertion
|
July 01, 2014
Allowing fireworks a few days before the 4th is not insane, just legalizing what folks are going to do anyway, harmless activity.
Macpup
|
July 03, 2014
It's not a harmless activity - my dog trembles for hours after just one firework is set off, and I'm sure he isn't the only one. Also, the Fire Department doesn't classify it as harmless either - especially in a drought!

The idea that we should legalize something just because folks are going to do it anyway is absurd.
victor_jm
|
July 03, 2014
Yes, we must always try to define and defend our assertions. Fireworks is a "harmless activity." Well, does this mean all fireworks is a harmless activity? What questions do we ask ourselves about the production and ignition and disposal of fireworks? What experiences do we have while listening to them or watching them? Is our response to fireworks an expression of acculturation or human nature? Particular fireworks have been going off in our neighborhood for two weeks now. In the last couple of days, these 'fireworks' have escalated to miniature bombs (m-80s or greater?) As for dogs being scared by them, my attitude toward animals is essentially non-discriminatory. If you can't care less about the life of a cow, which would like to live as much as your dog would, because you eat the cow, I really don't care about your dog's fright.
Macpup
|
July 01, 2014
It is insane that our City Council allows fireworks for the week prior to the 4th. No prescription or loud music eases my dog's anxiety because the fireworks being set off aren't SAFE AND SANE - they sound like a war zone! Of course, these same individuals that are setting off illegal fireworks, also don't abide by the limit of only one week.

warthog69
|
June 27, 2014
Most people I see with dogs shouldn't even own dogs. They are horrible people with no feelings for the dog or anyone else. To many people let there dogs walk free @Veterans park and do not follow the leash law. Why would any of these people follow any other kind of animal laws? Tracy animal control will only give a citation not a ticket so these people will never learn. These idiots live in a ME first world.

victor_jm
|
June 27, 2014
Why should I care about dogs? Why should I care about any animal? Which animals should I care about? The fact is this: our laws protect some animals, but not others.

I think owning an animal is a "ME-first" mentality.

I don't lightly ask these questions.
victor_jm
|
June 27, 2014
Animal control is a social (canine) service that has nothing to say about what is truly right about the animal situation in this country because they are interested in growth. If they weren't interested in growth, they would have done something other than petitioning for a larger facility. They are misguided folk.


We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at tpnews@tracypress.com.