Media Release

Pet Safety Tips for July 4th

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 1:00 AM
4:47 p.m.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Animal Services (ACAS) encourages pet owners to keep animal safety a priority as they celebrate the July 4th Independence Day holiday.  The nature of the celebrations, including loud fireworks displays, can be particularly traumatic for animals that might otherwise never exhibit fearful symptoms.
"It's easy to forget about our pets when we're caught up in the celebrations ourselves," explains David Flagler, Director of Alachua County Animal Services. "We just want to remind folks that responsible pet ownership during these festivities means thinking ahead and being prepared."
ACAS offers a few simple suggestions to keep your pets safe while you enjoy the holiday celebrations:
  • Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays. 
  • Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects--even death--in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
  • Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you've removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to minimize the effect of any noise from nearby celebrations (e.g., firecrackers, fireworks).
  • If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly.  Animals found running at-large should be reported to ACAS.  If your pet has a current license, you will be notified as soon as possible if they are brought to the shelter. 
  • If you plan to go away for the holiday weekend, plan to take your pets with you to pet-friendly destinations or make arrangements with a boarding facility or friends and neighbors to care for your pets until you return.
If you follow these simple precautions, you and your pets can have a safe and happy Independence Day holiday.  For more information about pet safety and responsible pet ownership, please contact Alachua County Animal Services at 352-264-6870.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).