Don't forget pets when preparing for Fourth

I want to thank the Marysville Police Department, Marysville Fire District and the Arlington Fire Department who all provided some very important information this week regarding fireworks safety and the enforcement of the new fireworks law in Marysville. It's valuable information to have to help the people in our communities ensure they have a fun, and safe, Fourth of July holiday.

An incident last weekend reminded me that there is some additional information that is also important to many in our communities. When mowing my lawn on Sunday, my next-door-neighbor came over and asked if I had seen his cat recently. I said hadn't and asked why. He said the cat was in their fenced-in back yard on Saturday when someone in the neighborhood started setting off some very large and extremely loud fireworks. The cat got spooked and bolted, and hasn't been seen since. It's extremely unfortunate that my neighbor and his family have to suffer the loss of a beloved family pet because someone decided to illegally discharge fireworks weeks before the Fourth of July holiday.

So here are a few tips on pets and fireworks safety, from "wikiHow.com" in the hopes that others won't have to experience a similar loss.

1. Don't leave your pet outside as it will be incredibly lout out there. Put your pet in one, safe, comfortable room. This step is unnecessary if your pet is a caged one, although it should be brought indoors if it is outside. It will keep it from running about the house and injuring itself or wrecking furniture. Make sure the room has a cosy place for your pet to sit, such as a blanket in a corner, and it is warm.

2. Dampen the noise. Close the curtains in the room and, if your animal is a caged one, cover up the cage in a thick blanket, but make sure it is breathable so your animal doesn't suffocate. These steps will also help to stop the flashes of light affecting your pet.

3. Add some soothing sound. If your pet is used to music, turn some on at normal volume. As long as it will not discomfort your pet, louder music will probably help more. The television is also a good idea if your animal is usually in a room where one is being watched.

4. Give your animal something to distract it. This could be some extra food (but not too much), or a toy.

5. Stay with your pet. Comfort it and talk to it. If this is not possible, because you are out or busy (you may be at the firework display), don't worry the previous steps should comfort your pet enough. If it wants to hide away, let it don't fuss over them too much.

Hopefully, if people follow the law when it comes to discharging fireworks and pet owners take a few preventive steps, more families won't have to experience the same loss as my neighbor. Let's all do whatever we can to ensure that this holiday season is a safe one for our families, and our pets.

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