There must have been some pretty awesome fireworks going off in our area this Independence Day because the shelter got a big influx of stray dogs in over the weekend.
Most were reclaimed the next day by their owners, but I shudder to think of what could have happened to them had they not been safely impounded.
The sound and vibrations from fireworks, thunder and gun fire are very frightening to many animals and can send them into a panic.
Thunderstorms are a fairly, regular event for us in the summer, fireworks have gained popularity since state laws legalized their use, and sadly, gunfire is not all that unusual either. Let’s look at some ways to help your pets cope and stay safe through these events.
First and foremost, if you have and outdoor pet, bring them in during storms and celebrations. They don’t usually go on for long periods of time so find a place to get your animal safely contained.
If you have a you have a young pet, it’s important to start them out on the right paw, the best possible thing you can do is give them positive reinforcement during scary moments. As soon as you hear the distant rumble of thunder or the beginning of a neighbor’s pyrotechnic celebration, turn up the music, get out the toys and get on the floor with them.
Choose music that is classical or a little fast paced and has a steady rhythm; television shows don’t typically provide the constant volume that you’ll need. Pull out a favorite plaything and be interactive with your pet, choose something you play with together. This type of activity will show your little playmate that you are completely relaxed and therefore, he should be too.
If you have a pet that has already developed a fear of loud noises, there are at least ways that you can help keep his panic to a manageable level.
First, choose a place in the house where you can safely confine him and keep him comfortable; rooms with no outside walls are often the quietest and there is no risk of them running out of doors in a panic.
Again, put the music on and even if you can’t entice him into play, show him that you are relaxed and unafraid. Doting on them is not necessarily the right strategy as it may give them the feeling that there is in fact something to be afraid of. Our pets are very in tune with our emotions so do what you can to show him that you are feeling content and carefree.
Another tool for handling your pet’s anxiety and fear is something called a “Thundershirt.” They make them for both dogs and cats and they have proven very successful in helping many pets through their insecurities and fears.
For some pets, there’s just no consoling them and they can actually hurt themselves or do damage when their fear erupts into full out panic. For these types of situations, you should consult your veterinarian. There are both homeopathic remedies and medication that can be prescribed in severe cases.
Always keep identification on your pets so that if the worst happens and they run away, they can be quickly returned to you. Microchip implantation is also highly recommended and can’t be lost like a collar or tags.
Shelter needs: Employees! The shelter is hiring. Check the shelter’s website for opportunities. Go to sjras.org, click on “about us” and then “employment opportunities” to apply.
The shelter also needs Purina Cat and Kitten Chow, canned dog food, cat nip, dog treats, cheese singles or sticks, small cat toys, small fleece blankets and crib sheets, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.
Shelter address: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.
To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/forms/adoption-questionnaire.
To volunteer, email the volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For SJRAS information, call (856) 691-1500 or visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org or SJRASVineland on Facebook.
CATS OF THE WEEK
Ricky Rick is gorgeous and shinier than black velvet! She is a wonderful girl who would be a great addition to your family.
Snowflake wants to be the coolest new member of your family.
Louie is a stunning, big boy! He’s sweet and lovable and would make a wonderful pet.
Kittens and kittens and more kittens! The shelter has many kittens. Visit and meet the kittens to find the perfect one for you.
Andie is a super handsome fella who would love an opportunity to convince you to adopt him.
Fuzzy is a big, sweet boy, who is waiting for his turn to join a family.
DOGS OF THE WEEK
Adoption includes: Spay/Neuter, microchipping and vaccines.
Happy is a darling, 8-year-old pug mix. She is very sweet and very frightened at having landed in an animal shelter. She and her companion, Chloe, came to us as strays. They are very bonded with each other and must be placed together. They are overweight and will need careful monitoring of what they eat and slow and gradual increases in exercise. Happy is a loveable and friendly pup, who is described as a lapdog. They need a home with no cats and will need a refresher course on housebreaking once they are in their new home.
Chloe is a sweet and lovable 8-year-old pug mix. She and her companion Happy are extremely bonded and need to be placed together. They are overweight and will need a careful monitoring of what they eat and slow and gradual increases in exercise. Chloe is more sensitive and can have some attitude. They need a home without cats. They will need a refresher course on housebreaking once they are in their new home.
Burly is a super sweet, friendly, 5-year-old pit bull terrier. He is fun and playful, but settles down very nicely after playtime. Burly is a snuggly boy who loves attention.
Tucker is a very nice, 3-year-old lab mix. He is bouncy and excited and loves to play, but then calms down very nicely when play time is done. Tucker is easy going and friendly. He will make someone a great family pet.
Buddy is a bouncy, happy, 2-year-old mixed breed, who looks like he might have some lab in his background. He is super friendly and loves toys. He’ll need some work on leash walking and basic doggy manners, but he is young and smart and eager to learn.
Walker is a very large, senior, lab mix. Don’t let his age fool you. This big sweetheart is fun and lively and loves attention. He is an intelligent dog with a calm and confident personality. Just look into those big brown eyes and you can see how friendly and engaging this handsome boy is.
Moonshine is a pretty, 4-year-old pit bull terrier. She is a sweet girl but shy and hesitant in new situations. Moonshine needs someone special, who is patient and can understand her and help her gain confidence. She is a darling girl, who will be totally devoted to her person. Moonshine would do best as your one and only! She has plenty of love to go around!
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