Kelsey Harty, Animal Services & Enforcement officer

The Fourth of July is approaching quickly and everyone here at The Humane Society of the Black Hills and Animal Services and Enforcement want you to get the most out of this fun holiday while keeping those furry friends safe at home.

Below are a few things to remember about firework safety around animals and what to do if your fur baby just so happens to get out:

  • Please remember that fireworks are not as enjoyable to those furry friends as they are to humans, and they can also be toxic if ingested. Please remember to keep all fireworks out of the direct reach of any pet. A trip to the emergency vet would not be a fun way to enjoy the holiday.
  • If you plan to shoot off fireworks, or you live in an area where they are legal to use, please take precautions to keep your pets safe, even if you do not think they will be frightened by the firework show. Any animal, accustomed to loud noises or not may be spooked by the constant commotion of the Fourth of July.
  • It is always a good idea to keep your pet in a secure bedroom, bathroom, or basement with either a TV on or some music playing. Something as simple as a covered kennel with your pets favorite toy or treat could be just what your pet needs to stay safe and comfortable around all the noise that comes with the Fourth of July.
  • If you feel you just do not have the means or appropriate space to keep those pets at home safe, try looking into a “boarding facility” or an overnight doggy day care facility. It may cost you a little bit, but sure beats a broken heart due to a missing/injured pet.
  • If you have a straying dog or cat approach you or your family during the festivities, please call the authorities such as the police/sheriff department. They can send someone out to assist or even contact Animal Services and Enforcement to come and help contain the straying animal.

The Fourth of July is a stressful time for most animals and even the best behaved pet can be affected. Unfortunately Animal Services responds to many calls about people getting bit by an animal they were trying to help. Animals being struck by vehicles are another high volume call typical for the Fourth of July.

It’s simple really – make sure those pets have somewhere safe and secure to stay, and you get out with your family and enjoy the Fourth Of July. And as always if you have any type of animal emergency after hours please contact your local police department dispatch at 605-394-2192. Be safe everyone!