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Celebrate Summer Safely



CONTACT: Roseann Trezza, Executive Director
May 25, 2010


EVERYTHING’S READY FOR YOUR VACATION. The bags are packed. The mail is stopped and the dog is sitting in his seat in the van, ready for a week at the beach or the mountains.

But unless you’ve taken preventive measures, your happy trip could be anything but enjoyable for your four-legged family member. In fact, Associated Humane Societies advises that there are alternatives to taking your pet. Leaving your pet home with a professional sitter is a possibility.

Ricco wants a summer and lifetime of love - he's waiting at our Tinton Falls shelter.

“Pets who travel with their family can get lost easily because of unfamiliar surroundings. Even if you go to the same house or camp site, your pet may not remember,” said Roseann Trezza, Executive Director, Associated Humane Societies/ Popcorn Park. “Professional pet sitting is growing with the demand. You can find the one who is right for you and your pet by contacting the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters at 856-380-6811 or log on to www.petsitters.org.

If you decide to take your pet on vacation with you, AHS offers the following tips:

  • Never leave your pet alone in the car. So often doing so ends in tragedy. Pets can fall victim of extreme heat in less than 10 minutes if left in a closed vehicle. Keeping a window leaves your pet vulnerable to theft or escape. Even more dangerous is letting your dog drive in the back of a pick-up truck. In many states, doing so is illegal. Dogs should either ride in the cab or in a secured crate in the truck bed.
  • Give your pet proper identification. To ensure your pet's safe return if lost, be sure to microchip -- it is a means of permanent identification once the chip has been registered. In addition, make sure that your pet has an identification tag on its collar, along with a dog license and rabies vaccination tag. 
  • Pets should be leashed with someone on the other end. Fearful pets, even those who are usually placid, often find ways to scale fences or climb under them in an attempt to get away from something. It takes just seconds for your dog to run away, or have its leash or collar tangled on a fencepost, tree or other object. Leaving your pet tied up on a deck or balcony is a possibility that your animal could jump or fall and be injured, strangled or killed.

Alpine is a 4 months old St. Bernard pup, waiting at out Tinton Falls Shelter for his very own Independence Day.

  • Watch out for summer poisons. Plant food, fertilizers, citronella candles, sunscreens, bug spray and lighter fluid are all extremely poisonous to your pet. And find alternatives to traditional flea and tick preventatives, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says could be toxic.
  • A day at the beach for you is fun. A day at the beach for your dog is potentially deadly. Sand is hot and uncomfortable. Salt water is dangerous to drink and unless there is a cool shady area, the constant sunshine makes pets susceptible to heat stroke.
  • Supervise poolside pets. Although access into the pool may be easy, some pets may have difficulty getting out and could drown. Have any pets in or around water prepared with lifejackets.
  • Keep your pet cool. Remember, your pet always wears a fur coat and cannot sweat like a human. If you are walking or jogging with your pet make sure you have water for both of you, and beware of hot asphalt, which can burn a dog’s paws. If it’s too hot, keep your pet at home.
  • Stay safe on the 4th. More pets run away on the Independence Day holiday than any other. Like during a thunderstorm, many don’t understand the explosive sounds and try to escape them. Look for these signs: shaking, drooling, howling or barking, finding a place in the house to hide, and loss of bladder or bowel control. Associated Humane Societies offers the following tips to keep pets feeling safe and secure when during fireworks or thunderstorms.
  •                Take your pet for a walk or play date before the fireworks to exercise, release energy and, of course, go “potty”. 
  •                Keep pets indoors. They may even feel safer if they are placed in a smaller interior room. 
  •               Close your windows. Dogs and cats can try and get out of the house by pushing through a screen. Also, closed windows will deaden some of the noise.
  •  Summer’s a great time to find new love. There are hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for adoption at all of our three shelters in Forked River, Tinton Falls and Newark.

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