Official fireworks celebrations have been canceled throughout Santa Barbara County because of COVID-19.
And residents are allowed to have private fireworks celebrations only within the city limits of Santa Maria and Lompoc. By law, the fireworks must be those that have been designated “safe and sane.”
Legal or otherwise, fireworks can upset pets.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services has released a list of suggestions to help your animals on the Fourth.
“Each year, hundreds of animals are lost as a result of noise related to Independence Day celebrations,” according to Animal Services’ news release.
Along with the list of suggestions, Animal Services said that although it will be closed today and Saturday, it will be open on Sunday to reunite lost pets with their owners.
The division, which is part of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, recommends you make sure your pet is wearing a current license tag and that you update your pet’s microchip information. That will enable a quick reunion between lost animals and their families.
The next suggestion is to keep your pets inside, even if they are outdoor pets. Animal Services also suggests leaving the TV or radio on during fireworks to distract the pets because soothing noise may help keep them calm.
According to Animal Services, “Even if you think your yard is secure, a frightened dog will find a way to escape and a tied-up dog may strangle itself trying to get away.”
Animal Services also suggests walking your pet before fireworks start to help tire them out and stay calm.
If you are unable to stay home to keep your pet safe, the department suggests keeping your dog in a crate to ensure they stay safe while at home. If you don’t have a crate, you may borrow one from the Santa Maria Animal Center by bringing a copy of your ID and a credit or debit card.
If your pet is startled by fireworks and still runs away despite precautions, visit the Animal Services shelters in Goleta, Santa Maria or Lompoc.
All three sites will resume normal business hours at 9 a.m. Monday. However, extra staff will be available on Sunday as well as Monday to ensure animals are safely reunited with their owners.
According to Animal Services, “If your dog or cat is not there, be persistent and keep checking back. It may take several days for them to arrive. To help locate your pet, we suggest posting flyers in your neighborhood with a current photo of your pet and a phone number where you can be reached, using social media and submitting a Lost Report at countyofsb.org.”
For more information, contact Animal Services-Lompoc at 805-737-7755, Santa Maria Animal Center at 805-934-6119 and the Animal Services shelter in Goleta at 805-681-5285. Or visit https://countyofsb.org/phd/animal/lostandfound.sbc.