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Human Interest

Keep pets secure during cacophony of Fourth of July

Cottonwood Journal Extra of Cottonwood, Arizona

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Well, it is here. The summer sun, the picnics, the barbecues and the dips in the creek. The time of year where it heats up and the monsoon starts.

Do you know that one of our busiest seasons for animal control is monsoon and the Fourth of July? I took vacation at that time last year and was begged to never do that again. Many animals get spooked with the monsoon. Remember that as you put your animal outside. Make sure they have all their appropriate tags, microchipping and you take all the appropriate precautions.

I have heard many times from different people — "My dog has never run off like that before."

Not only dogs but also cats and farm animals get lost in storms. Animals get scared and panic. These quick moving storms with wind, rain, thunder and lightning can make pet owners go crazy looking for their animal. If you think you are going to be gone from your home, don't leave your animal outside unattended. If you do have goats, horses, etc., make sure that your fencing is secure and they have somewhere they feel safe from the storm.

Many homeowners comment, "I didn't expect to be gone that long," or "I never seen my animal react that way."

Don't take for granted that your beloved family pet will be fine in the upcoming monsoon. Plan ahead and your responsible pet ownership will pay off to never have to be one of the many phone calls that come into animal control.

Our dog Gracie is about five years old and she was rescued from a shelter. We knew she had been abused when we got her. We couldn't even leash her without her cowering. She has gotten better but still to this day is deathly afraid of fireworks and storms. We would find her under furniture and in a panic, shaking wherever she decided to hide.

My husband and I have become used to keeping the air conditioning on and the television on during the Fourth of July fireworks. In our old home they were loud. Now we live in an area where we do not hear them much and Gracie is thankful. We always knew to be at home or have someone there during her difficult moments. She was my first experience of how frightened an animal can get.

When animals get spooked and run off, many times they are not found. If they are found, they may not be alive or found sick, starved and dehydrated from all they have been through.

Last year we had a dog missing for five days. She was scared to death when she finally surrendered and walked toward me. She had lost several pounds and I believe she had given up and finally came to me because she realized she was dying. The storms and fireworks had spooked her so badly she ran off her property and kept running for days. We had several sightings of her, but she was always running from people. As the next storm hit, she would run again to another location. This sweet girl was lucky and I am thankful it was a happy ending.

That was one of those days at work where I went home thinking what a good day for that family and their dog. I wish I could say that for all my experiences.. I believe knowledge is power and maybe this article will make a difference so our Verde Valley animals can be a little safer this season with the help of their educated pet owners.

If you find yourself or a friend in this situation with your animal or see an animal that is afraid and is at large during our Fourth of July and monsoon, do not chase the animal. You will make the animal more scared and often make the issue worse. It is best to call your local animal control, shelter or rescue for their advice. If you adopted the animal from a local organization and haven't had it that long, contact the group as they may know something about the animal you don't.

Many hands make light work. If we work together, maybe we will not have so many scared animals this monsoon and Fourth of July weekend here in the Verde Valley.

Paws Around Town was written this week by Lisa Diacik, Camp Verde Animal Control.

Copyright 2014 Cottonwood Journal Extra, Cottonwood, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 2, 2014

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