What do you do when a public servant looks you right-in-the-eye and tells you the sky is green?
About ten years ago, I thought I had a plan to address a chronic, tragic and unnecessary animal welfare problem. I knew from excellent sources (yes – they were anonymous, and impeccable, and remain so) that the local public animal shelter pre-killed animals for space in anticipation of the July Fourth rush. Many (many!) dogs and cats are freaked-out by fireworks, and bolt for parts unknown – ending up in shelters (84 such pets at one facility last year), or under moving cars. It happens every year.
I also knew they had an enclosed courtyard, and that ARF at the time had hundreds of pet crates stored neatly behind their gorgeous facility. So, thought I – why not gear-up a community effort to temporarily house the animals ‘til some are redeemed by their people, others are adopted, and things settle down – basically to help the pig get through the python. I proposed it to the man in-charge.
“We don’t pre-kill,” he said. (Note – he has since departed)
The best I could get from them was an annual Public Service Announcement to the effect that our national holiday celebration is The Worst Day of the Year for your pets – and to please take steps to secure and comfort your animals. I haven’t seen this year’s version of any such announcement.
So, answering the topic Q, you write your own annual plea to anyone within eye-shot. Please, please leave your Fido home when you celebrate. Close the windows (a mere screen is no impediment), draw the blinds, leave some soothing music on the box (no 1812 Overtures, please) and make sure they have extra water. Now’s also a good time to check their tags and microchip registrations, and to be sure you have a good recent photo, just in case.
And for Danvillians, that extends to The Parade. It’s chaotic enough under any circumstances, but when those guys with the shotguns open fire, for a mile, it’s a circle of canine hell for many. Too often I’ve seen a panicked retriever high-tailing it – trailing a leash and leaving its loved ones in the dust. That doesn’t ever end well.
Here are some further Top Ten tips from PetMD.com, and from the American Veterinary Medicine Assn.
End note: CCC Animal Services is offering free "Summer of Love" dog and cat adoptions, through July 8th. Love, indeed, for a lot longer than a summer. Their facebook page is here.