Bay Area residents urged to keep pets indoors July 4

Local animal shelters are advising people to leave their pets at home and indoors if they are going to go watch fireworks shows on July 4.

"Don't bring dogs out to firework shows," Peninsula Humane Society spokesman Scott Delucchi said. "You see people do it, but it's a terrible idea. It could be pretty traumatic for the dog."

The loud noises and bright lights can scare pets and cause them to panic and possibly run away.

"On a night you expect to hear fireworks, bring the animal indoors," Delucchi said.

He further recommends that pet owners shut the blinds or close the curtains, and turn the TV or music volume up.

"We find people who do that don't have any trouble," he said.

But if those measures have not worked in the past, Delucchi urges pet owners to speak with a veterinarian for other steps that can be taken to help the animal.

Delucchi advises those who leave their pets outside to shore up fence boards for sturdiness.

"Take a walk around to make sure the boards are secure," Delucchi said. "Take a look at that before the Fourth of July."

He said Independence Day is usually the busiest time of year for the Humane Society, but that the number of pets lost on the holiday has dropped significantly over the past 15 years because people are taking more precautions.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control is reminding owners to make sure their pets' identification tags are visible at all times, and to have a veterinarian implant a microchip in addition to the tags.

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