WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—
When the fireworks begin going off around the Fourth of July each year, it’s not only firefighters who may have to put in extra hours.
Animal services workers usually get a lot more calls about lost or found animals who may have been stressed and frightened into running away.
Wichita Falls officials said last year about 65 stray animals were picked up or brought in between the July 1—8 and an additional 53 animals after that.
Those numbers are about 20 more than the average.
That is why officials remind people as they make fireworks and barbecuing plans, not to forget to prep the pups.
A year after receiving Tazzer as a birthday gift, Wichita Falls resident Dawn Butler noticed he was very uneasy, showing signs of anxiety when he heard fireworks going off.
“I notice that he’d get jittery or try to go into different directions of the house or different spaces,” Butler said.
So Butler did what she thought would be best to comfort him.
“I just tried to really assure him and give him a lot of attention and comfort him in those times and that seemed to work,” Butler said.
Tazzer is now 9-years-old, but he still fears loud sounds, so as Fourth of July gets closer, Butler has begun prepping him for what’s to come.
Animal Services Administrator Nicki Bacon, who is a pet owner herself, said there quite a few things you can do to prepare your own pup.
“It’s very important that you check your fence lines before you let your animals out tonight because when they get out in the backyard and they hear a loud noise the first thing they will want to do is escape,” Bacon said.
Bacon said that long walks in the park before peak fireworks time should relax and make them less likely to run and jump with each bang.
Owners should also stay vigilant because bright flashes and loud sounds when the dogs are around a bunch of unfamiliar faces tend to spook them and cause them to snap at or bite those around them.
Both Butler and Bacon said keeping your dog in a secure area in homes, such as a familiar room or a pet crate helps them feel safe.
If animals go missing following the fireworks, animal services officials said people should check their website daily.