(Apple Valley)– The Town of Apple Valley Animal Services Department would like to remind residents to be extra mindful of pet safety during the Independence Day weekend.
In previous years, Animal Services has always had staff on-standby for any animal-related emergencies. This year, to reduce the number of injured and lost pets, Animal Services officers will be on patrol from 7 p.m. to midnight. Sick, injured, vicious or stray animals in traffic may be reported at (760) 961-6001.
“We would like to save pets from getting in harm’s way instead of simply responding to something bad that has already taken place,” said Josh Hall, Animal Services Officer, who said that about 90 percent of the calls they receive during the holiday is for stray dogs in traffic. The loud noise and bright fireworks can often startle dogs into unusual behavior. “Dogs that normally don’t get out will find a way to do so when they are scared. They jump fences, dig holes and squeeze through small gaps in barriers they wouldn’t normally cross.”
Pet owners are encouraged to secure their animals during the holiday, especially if the family is going to celebrate away from home. Officer Hall suggests shutting animals into a secure room with adequate food and water, turning on a stereo or television for background noise, and leaving a light on. Animals who are left outside should also have plenty of food and water, and extra measures should be taken to secure the yard to reduce the chance an animal can escape. Citations will be issued to pet owners whose animals get loose. Fines for violations start at $100.
If your pet is missing, you may call the Apple Valley Municipal Animal Shelter at (760) 240-7000 x 7555 during normal business hours on Tuesday.