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Our nation’s Independence Day celebrations can be the most stressful and dangerous holiday for your pets. The highest number of lost and injured pets arrive at shelters the days immediately following Independence Day and New Year’s Eve events. The noise and sight of fireworks frighten most of them. YOUR Humane Society SPCA wants to remind you about a few common sense steps to take to protect your pet during the upcoming July 4th festivities.

Fireworks/Household pets:

· Keep your pets inside or in a secure kennel, especially when you are not home. Extremely loud noises can be quite stressful to animals. With their sensitive hearing, fireworks can cause your pet to panic and some may bolt from their home in terror. Even normally calm pets may bite or scratch out of fear or anxiety.

· Leave a TV on, or play soft music on the radio. This may help soothe your pet.

· Close the blinds/curtains and keep the lights on. Your pet won’t see the bursts of light outside.

· Other precautions should be considered prior to fireworks season, such as Thundershirts, calming essential oils, and as a last resort, a prescription for the right dosage from your vet to help calm your pet during anxiety. NEVER give any type of human medication to your pet.

·  If you are out of town, make arrangements early for a qualified pet sitter and provide the sitter with emergency contact numbers.


Horses or livestock:

·  Make sure no fireworks are set off near your animals or your barn. Fireworks can ignite a fire or set off a stampede.

·  Feeding hay to your livestock during fireworks may help distract them.

·  Leave barn lights on to diffuse the bright fireworks in the sky.

·  Fans blowing on high in the barn can help buffer loud noises.

·  Tune a radio station to a talk show as it may provide a calming human voice.

·  Be sure to have an ID on each horse in case they manage to escape.

·  If you are out of town, notify neighbors and/or book a farm sitter early and provide them with emergency contact numbers.


Recovery of Lost Pets:

·  The highest number of lost or injured pets occurs during the 4th of July holiday. The fear and chaos of the fireworks cause them to try to escape and many succeed. If they have no identification, they have little chance of being reunited with their family.

·  All pets should minimally have two forms of ID: a collar with an ID tag, and either a County License or a microchip. Each ID should have an emergency contact number. Any form of current ID greatly increase the chances of reuniting you with your lost pet!


Lost/Found a Pet?

·   Contact YOUR Humane Society SPCA at 352-793-9117 and post your pet on their website’s “Lost & Found” page at https://www.hsspca.org/lost-found-animals and have your pets enrolled on the free FindingRover.com site should your pet become lost. Contact Sumter County Animal Services at 352-689-4400 and visit their facility to review the lost animals that arrived daily. Be prepared to leave them a full description of the animal and your contact information. They also have a bulletin board there for lost pets.

· Create a flyer with a photo of the lost animal and your contact information. Post it at all local veterinary offices, groomers, pet supply stores, and throughout your neighborhood.

·  Tell your neighbors. They may know the pet owner or they may be willing to help you in your search.

·  Post your pet’s photos & contact info on local social media pages specifically for lost and found pets in your county.

YOUR Humane Society SPCA is a 501(c)3 non-profit, no-kill organization helping animals in need throughout their community as Sumter County’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. Donations directly help to cover the cost of saving, treating and caring for neglected, abused and abandoned animals. Learn more about them at hsspca.org, 352-793-9117, on Facebook or visit them at 994 CR 529A, in Lake Panasoffkee, FL.

Office open: Mon.-Sat. 8am-4:00pm. Kennel Pet Viewing: Mon.-Sat. 9:00am-3:00pm. Visitors are always welcome! Visitors are always welcome however, due to COVID-19 concerns, visitors are required to make an appointment to visit the shelter until further notice.