Pet owners on the Central Coast are preparing days in advance to keep their animals safe during the upcoming 4th of July holiday.
Officials from Santa Barbara County Animal Services is giving pet owners a few tips to follow ahead of the fireworks shows expected to happen on Independence Day.
They suggest having your pet exercise throughout the day to tire them out before the festivities. Officials also advise to keep pets indoors and put them in a secluded room with a television or radio on. Animals should be monitored throughout the evening to make sure they do not escape from a room through the doorway or a window.
Owners can also talk with a veterinarian to put a plan in place to help comfort the pets if loud fireworks are going off in their neighborhood.
“Our pets depend on us to keep them safe and it’s not about if the fireworks are going to go off in our neighborhood. They’re going to happen, so now it’s just time to be prepared take action and ensure that you have provided for the safety of your animals,” said Stacy Silva, Santa Barbara County Animal Services Community Outreach Coordinator.
If pet owners plan to be away from their animal during the nighttime hours on the holiday, animal experts say they should take the pet to a boarding kennel or to a place where it can be kept safe. They also say to make sure the animal can be properly identified with a name and address on the collar, as well as a microchip.
If a pet does run away, owners are asked to go to an animal shelter once a day and check on websites such as Facebook, Nextdoor or Craigslist to locate the lost animal.
The “Return to Owner Amnesty” period to pick up lost pets will end on July 6. Pet owners will be able to retrieve their lost pets without paying the fee to pick them up from the pound.