To dogs, cats, and other animals, Independence Day might seem more like World War III than a summertime celebration. Noisy Fourth of July fireworks are frightening to animals, who don't realize that the explosions are entertainment, not danger.
After fireworks displays, animal shelters nationwide report an increase in the number of lost animal companions. Many of these animals panic and jump over fences or break chains, and some even jump through plate-glass windows to get away from the terrifying sounds. Lucky animals are reunited with their families, but others are never found. Many dogs and other animals are taken to animal shelters with bloody paws from running, torn skin from breaking through wooden fences, or other serious injuries. Some animals are hit by cars or killed in other ways as they flee.
· Leave your animals at home during the celebrations—never take them with you to watch fireworks displays!
· Never leave animals tethered or chained outside; they can hang themselves if they leap over a fence while trying to run from the noise.
· Close your windows and curtains. Turn on a radio that's tuned to a classical-music station, or turn on the TV to help drown out the sound of the fireworks.
· Make sure that your animal companion is wearing a collar or harness with an up-to-date identification tag—just in case.