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Dogs And Fireworks Don’t Mix On 4th Of July

Fireworks over San Diego Bay in this undated photo.

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: Fireworks over San Diego Bay in this undated photo.

The Fourth of July is a time for family, fun and fireworks. But fireworks are anything but fun for dogs.

“It is probably the most terrifying day for dogs,” said Dan DeSousa, director of San Diego County's Department of Animal Services. “It is just a sheer state of panic for them and the only thing they know how to do is flee and they’ll do everything that they can to get away from that noise."

By Reporter John Carroll

The Fourth of July is a time for family, fun and fireworks. But fireworks are anything but fun for dogs.

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When DeSousa said they’ll do everything, he was not exaggerating.

“You will see a dog in a backyard jump a fence, dig through a fence, break through a fence ... you will have dogs in a house break through a window to escape,” he said.

Reported by Kris Arciaga

So, what to do if you want to get out and enjoy one of the many fireworks displays around the county?

DeSousa said to skip the festivities. He said if you love your four-legged friends, you should stay home with them.

"If you have a child that’s deathly afraid of fireworks, you wouldn’t leave your child at home and go off," he said. "Why would you do that with a dog?"

But if you’re going to go anyway and you live close enough to a fireworks display to hear the explosions, DeSousa said to put the dogs in an isolated room with their bed, toys — things they’re familiar with.

Turn a TV on, tuned to something like a cooking channel with calm voices.

Beyond that, make sure your dogs are microchipped. And there’s another way to be prepared if your dogs run away. DeSousa recommended checking out a website called Finding Rover.

"Finding Rover is facial recognition. It’s really cool technology," he said. "They can do that now. It’s free. We photograph every single one of our dogs here and if we get that match, you would be notified that the dog is safe and secure in one of our shelters."

Unfortunately, some dogs will run away and they're likely to end up at places like the county animal shelter in Bonita. Dogs who aren't claimed by their owners within four days are put up for adoption; a good reason to welcome one of these furry friends into your home.

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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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