Pet Owners Asked to Keep Furry Friends Safe During Fireworks

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - Fireworks can be fun for us but frightening for dogs, cats and other pets, so keep them locked up in a safe, quiet place this Fourth of July, Riverside County officials said today.

``This week can be downright disastrous for many of our beloved pets,'' said Department of Animal Services Director Dr. Allan Drusys. ``We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for owners to take the necessary precautions.''

Drusys urged residents not to leave their pets outdoors when pyrotechnics are being detonated.

Several shows are planned Wednesday and many for Thursday so it's advisable that residents take the following precautions:

-- keep canines in a secure location, with plenty of food and water;

-- if they're indoor dogs, turn on music or a television to distract them;

-- make sure dogs and cats wear a collar with identification or are microchipped so county officials know who to contact in case they're rescued from the street; and

-- keep a recent photograph of the dog or cat on hand should it become necessary to distribute flyers.

County shelters usually fill up during the July 4 holiday and immediately after because of all the runaway dogs, according to officials.

The county operates shelters in Blythe, Jurupa Valley, San Jacinto and Thousand Palms.

More information about how to keep pets safe can be found at

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