The days following 4th of July and New Years Eve are some of the busiest days for animal shelters across the country as dogs break their restraints and flee their homes due to anxiety and fear from fireworks displays. What can be a fun activity for us can be terrifying for our animals as they experience unusual sounds, flashes of light and weird smells.
Do not, under any circumstances, bring your dog to a fireworks display.
If you live near the location of a fireworks display, leave your pet inside and try using a white noise machine or playing soft music to help calm your pet and block the sounds of the fireworks.
If your pet is particularly fearful of fireworks make every effort to stay inside with them.
Be proactive and exercise your dog before the fireworks commence. A tired dog is less anxious.
If you plan to stay inside with your pet, try to stay in a familiar environment.
Be sure all pets, including indoor cats, wear current ID tags. Consider microchipping your pet if they are not already.
You can also stuff a Kong or other work-to-eat toy with special treats for your dog to work on during the fireworks. This can also help your pet associate the scary noises with good things.
Do not punish your pet during times of stress as this can only make the problem worse. It is perfectly acceptable, and advisable, to comfort your pet when they are fearful.
Tips if you find a stray dog:
Contact the local animal shelter in the parish where you found the animal. If an animal is taken to a shelter far away from where they were found, odds of reuniting them drastically decrease.
File a found report with the shelter
Take them to the shelter or nearby vet clinic to have them scanned for a microchip
Make flyers and post them where you found the animal
Post on social media groups like NOLA Lost Pets, Craigslist and Nextdoor
Walk the animal round the neighborhood, especially after work hours
If you plan to turn the animal into a shelter, you must bring them to the parish shelter where you found them. We are the shelter for Orleans Parish.
If you lose your pet, the most important thing to know is that each parish has a “stray hold period”. This hold period is designed to allow you time to find your pet. Each parish’s hold period is different; for example Orleans is 3 and Jefferson and Plaquemines are 5. If you have your address listed on the ID tag and it’s present on the animal when they come to us, Louisiana Law requires that the animal be held for 7 days.
Steps to take if you lose your pet:
File a lost report!
Call your microchip company. Make sure your info is up-to-date. They can even sometimes send out alerts to nearby shelters and vet offices.
Search your neighborhood. Dawn and dusk are the most active times for lost pets to roam.
Post lost pet flyers and post on social media sites like NOLA Lost Pets, Craigslist and Nextdoor
Call area vet offices
Leave food/water outside
Check your local animal shelters and humane societies to see if someone brought them there