Lost pets after 4th of July fireworks down in Cambria and Blair counties

Adoptable 12 year old dog.

Fourth of July fireworks are scary for our furry friends, and some get so scared they escape from loving homes and end up on the street or in local shelters.

This year, thankfully, both Cambria County and the Central PA Humane Societies saw lower numbers of house pets coming into the shelter. They say awareness has helped to keep pets in their homes.

Fireworks, while we enjoy the show, some pets are scared of the loud booms and flashes of light.

“Just be more aware of what your pets are doing, especially if there is a lot of fireworks,” said Animal Control Officer David Pundzac. “I know with human beings the first firework will startle us but with an animal that has no idea what that is, it will really terrify them.”

Officials at the Central PA Humane Society in Blair County said this year, intake of Fourth of July strays has been lower than normal. Fewer than a dozen animals were found by officers and only two haven't been claimed. However, in Cambria County, animal control has been a bit busier. But it’s not all bad. Only a few animals were brought in to the shelter, while many were reunited quickly with their owners.

“I think over the past week we have found homes, reunited the homeowners with about 85 percent of the dogs within a couple of hours or the next day,” said Pundzac.

Officials also say it’s not just household pets that can be spooked by fireworks. Within the last week, four horses have gone missing near Juniata Gap Road and only three have been found.

“Obviously, a horse out on the road it’s a lot more dangerous than a dog,” said Central PA Humane Society Manager Theresa Shirley. “If a car hits a horse, it can be a fatality not just for the horse, but for the driver."

The fireworks displays aren’t over. Officials tell us they could still have a busy week ahead. But they say making sure you know how to keep your pets calm in the situation, will keep them home.

“If it's playing music in the background, or just white noise, put a fan on inside the house,” said Pundzac. “Give them their favorite toy with some peanut butter. Even some of the thunder shirts that cuddles them up a little bit. Spend time with them.“

Officials are thankful this year was quiet, as their shelters are already full.

“That's a very trying situation when you are trying to find space for the animals,” says Shirley. "So, this year being a little quieter was a good thing for us.”

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