Keeping pets safe & sound during Fourth of July fireworks celebration

LEWISTON, ID - The fireworks that light up the night sky this time of year also tend to ignite something else...fear into animals.

Reporter Sophia Miraglio tells us why a local shelter starts seeing an influx of strays and what you can do as a pet owner to help out.

Despite Fourth of July being a little more than a week away, you've probably already heard some fireworks being lit off within your area. And if you've heard them, then you can guarantee your four-legged friend has too.

"Most times people don't understand that dogs get afraid of the fireworks," said Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter Director Donna Duffau. "We enjoy them but the dogs don't."

More pets go missing around the Fourth of July than any other holiday.

"It would be like us being in a war zone," said Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter Kennel Manager Calandra Collins. "Just plopped in a war zone and not having any idea of what's going on, you want to get away from that."

Which is why the Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter sees an influx of dogs every time this year.

"You know we start seeing them trickle in a few days prior to, and a few days after," said Collins.

"They find them where ever they are in the community running around after they got scared from the fireworks," said Duffau. "And they have access to our building at night, so we come in and there's dogs already waiting for us."

However, all that can be avoided if the proper steps are taken right now. And as a pet owner I know a fenced yard is often times not enough.

"If a dog gets really, really scared, it's gonna rip your fence or dig a hole, or go over the top," said Duffau. "He may never of climbed before but all of a sudden this dog is so freaked out they climb. In doors in a house with no windows is the best place for them."

Once inside turning on the TV or some sort of background noise to drown out the fireworks is also advised.

"Especially if it's something they're use too, like a fan or something that is comforting to them," said Collins. "And you can actually train them to get use to that sound and then while it's on they'll be less likely to freak out over hearing the booming that's going on outside."

The shelter staff work very hard getting pets back to their families. If your pet happens to go missing, you're encouraged to go by and check out the shelter in person. Dogs are held for about six days before they are brought up for adoption.