Keep Your Furry Friends Safe
Last July, many animal lovers on Orcas Island were consumed for weeks by the news of a missing dog. Kai, a young golden retriever, took off from the West Beach Resort during the July 4 celebrations and sadly, despite tremendous efforts by islanders, was never found. More pets are lost on July 4 than any other day of the year. And many are hurt by loud noises, high temperature and consuming dangerous items and foods that day, too.
With the hope that our island and visitor pets are safe this holiday season, here are a few tips and precautions that pet owners should consider.
- Be sure your pet has an ID tag securely fastened to a collar or harness.
- Take some new photos of your pet just in case of escape.
Precautions for Event Day
- Don’t take your dog! If you can, leave your pet in a quiet, secure place at home when you go out to parades and fireworks. Someone might even stay with the pet!
- Take your dog out for good exercise and perhaps some socializing earlier in the day.
- If you’re hosting friends at home or camp, be sure they are aware of the pets, gates to be kept closed, not to feed them anything, etc.
- Keep items like food, fire, sparklers and lighter fluid out of harms way.
- Don’t leave them alone in a car, even if you think it will be cool enough for them.
- Use calming aids such as Rescue Remedy or a Thundershirt.
If Your Dog Does Become Lost
- Get the word out through contact with the Sheriff’s office (376-4151), the Animal Shelter (376-6777) and the “Friends of Orcas Pet Search & Rescue” on Facebook. Professionals suggest these tips for searchers who may see the dog:
- Stay calm and don’t chase the dog.
- Don’t use the dog’s name.
- Keep your eyes diverted from the dog and speak calmly
- Have a leash looped and ready to slip over the dog’s head
Here’s hoping for a wonderful Independence Day celebration on Orcas with safe and happy people and pets!
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