NEWARK, Calif. - Sales have been slow at the Little League Safe and Sane fireworks stand off Mowry Avenue in Newark, one of several South Bay cities that allows the sale and use of fireworks.
However, the staff at Humane Society Silicon Valley is expecting in the next day or two to be handling about a dozen cases of lost and stray pets, which have been frightened by the sound of fireworks.
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They go into flight mode, says Kirsten Davis, director of medical operations at the the Humane Society Silicon Valley, sometimes running several times from home. They are then unable to find their way home. Both dogs and cats can react to the loud noises.
"The best thing is to keep them inside, even if your cat is indoor-outdoor, your dog is very familiar with your yard, the sounds that the fireworks create are just too much, so keep them inside if at all possible," said Davis.
"He's very frightened and shakes, and there's nothing you can do unless you get something to calm him down 'cause even holding him and trying to calm them down don't work," said dog owner Debbie Rodrigues of her dog.
Humane Society says there are common sense steps that can be taken to address this annual Fourth of July phenomenon.
One is to keep pets confined to an inside room of the house where the outside noise might be muffled.
"Cats people sometimes don't know they're missing if they're indoor-outdoor cats for a few days maybe because it's not abnormal for them not to come home every night," she said.
Another is to talk to neighbors about what time and how long their fireworks will be going off so pet owners can anticipate when to take pro-active steps.
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The HSSV also reminds pet owners whose animals have microchips to make sure their current contact information is updated so a stray dog or cat can be quickly reunited with their families.
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