During holidays like New Year’s Eve, the Louisiana SPCA urges pet owners to keep in mind that what’s fun for us can be downright frightening for our pets. That’s why it is so important to keep them inside where they are safe.
Here are a few tips from the Louisiana SPCA on how to keep your pets safe and calm during New Year’s Eve celebrations:
- Do not under any circumstance bring your pet to a fireworks display.
- Leave your pet inside and play soft music to help block the sounds of the fireworks.
- Exercise your dog before the fireworks start. 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.
- Stuff a Kong or other work-to-eat toy with special treats during the fireworks.
- Do not punish your pet during times of stress as this can only make the problem worse.
- Comfort your pet when they are fearful.
- If it is absolutely necessary to be outside with dogs during firework displays, ensure each dog is secure on a leash or harness.
The days following New Year’s 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. If you are separated from 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 Parish is three days while Jefferson and Plaquemines Parish are five days. Be mindful that collars can fall off or be removed. Microchips are a permanent form of identification and the best chance to be reunited with your pet if you become separated.
If you lost your pet:
- File a Lost Pet Report! You can do it online or in-person.
- Call your microchip company. Make sure your info is up-to-date. Some microchip companies have the ability to 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 Facebook, Craigslist and Nextdoor.
- Call local vet offices.
- Leave food/water outside.
WARNING: Sometimes unfriendly citizens will use forums to prey on people. The Louisiana SPCA encourages you to use caution if you are contacted by someone claiming to have found your pet and asks you for a reward in exchange for the animal. This is a common scam and should be reported to your local law enforcement.
To report a lost pet, complete the Louisiana SPCA’s online Lost Pet Report or stop by the Louisiana SPCA in person at 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd. In Algiers. More tips on what to do if you lose or find a pet can be found at www.louisianaspca.org/lostandfound