Fireworks and pets: A dangerous mix

(Photo courtesy Williamson County Animal Shelter)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While you might have big celebration plans to ring in 2016, remember fireworks and pets don’t mix. The Austin Animal Center says they always see a spike in the number of lost pets in the days following New Year’s Eve due to the noise from the fireworks scaring them.

According to the Austin Animal Center, last year 100 lost dogs were brought into the shelter on New Year’s Eve. They expect roughly the same number again this year, putting the shelter in a tough spot because it’s just about as full as it can get with 600 animals calling it home. That means they have to get creative on where they house the influx of animals over the next few days.

To avoid making a trip to the shelter, follow these suggestions from the center:

Keep your dog inside — Being outside while the loud bangs are going off is what causes a dog to panic and jump fences, dig holes and escape. Keep pets inside during the festivities in a safe area of the home.

Use calming techniques — A compression shirt can really calm down your dog. If your doctor approves, you can give your dog Benadryl to calm them down. Also, playing music in the house can drown out the noise of the fireworks.

Call 3-1-1 — If you notice a dog or find a dog that looks lost,  do not chase it as it could run into a busy road with traffic. Instead call 3-1-1 and alert animal control, report it as a lost pet and it will immediately show up on the shelters website.

Officials with Austin Animal Center say if you lose a pet, don’t forget the power of social media.

“If your pet gets lost during the fireworks, it could be a day or two before they end up here at the shelter. The best thing you can do if you find a pet is to post it on your next door site, your neighborhood  site. Post it on Austin Lost and Found Pets Facebook page. Keep them from coming into the shelter, your shelter should be your last resort,” said Kasey Spain, Marketing and Communications with Austin Animal Center. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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