As we get closer to the Fourth of July, here is some helpful information to help everyone (including your pets) enjoy the holiday.
Pets and the Fourth
As many pets owners know, the Fourth of July – with its large gatherings and explosions both legal and illegal – can be very stressful for many of our animals. In fact, Fourth of July week (not just the day itself) is the busiest of the year at the city’s animal shelters. Not only are we in the middle of breeding season, but hundreds of frightened animals escape their normally happy homes every year at this time while fleeing scary sounds and situations. And many of these lost pets wind up in city shelters. So as it usually does, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is working hard to make room for the coming influx of lost pets in two ways.
First, staring yesterday and running through Tuesday, July 3, they’re holding a big “4 Days 4 Life Adoption Event,” during which they’re hoping to find homes for dogs already at the shelters by offering free adoptions. Note, though, that while the dog adoption fees are waived, there will still be a $20 dog license fee applied for LA City residents, and all adopters must also provide a valid government-issued identification card when adopting. But all LA Animal Services pets are vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped, so you save money on those items, too.
Second, to make even more room, even temporarily, at the city shelters, LA Animal Services is once again asking residents if they might be willing to foster an animal already in one of the shelters, even for just a few days over the Fourth of July holiday. Sending animals to foster homes, even briefly, opens up life-saving shelter space until animals who come in after July 4 are either reunited with their owners or readied for re-homing. As the Department explains, “We have hundreds of wonderful dogs and cats of all ages, breeds and sizes waiting to be your temporary companion or best friend forever. By giving an abandoned pet a new home or letting them stay with you for a short time, you are saving two lives, the one you are caring for and the one who now has room at the shelter.”
Potential foster volunteers can fill out an application in person at any of the six city shelters, or print out the LA Animal Services foster application. All applications must be turned in in person during regular work hours at the animal shelter they would like to foster from. Applicants must also provide a government-issued identification card and proof of rabies vaccinations for dogs currently in their care.
If you’re interested in fostering an animal over the holiday, please apply and begin fostering as soon as possible, because new animals are expected to start appearing at the shelters this weekend. Business hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. They are closed on Mondays and the Fourth of July. To find the center nearest you, see www.laanimalservices.com/shelter-locator or call (888) 452-7381.
Finally, to make sure your own pets stay safe, calm, comfortable and, most important, HOME during the possibly uncomfortable holiday, the Department has the following tips:
Make sure your pet has up-to-date identification
If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar or harness with a current license and/or ID tag on it and a microchip that’s registered with your contact information, will help reunite you with your companion animal right away! For information on getting or renewing your dog’s license, visit anionlinelicense.lacity.org.
If your pet isn’t microchipped, contact any LA Animal Services Centers and schedule an appointment to have your companion animal chipped. The cost for the general public is $25.00 per animal. For information or to schedule an appointment, call (888) 452-7381. Most veterinary clinics also offer microchipping services!
Keep your pets indoors
The best way to keep your pets safe is to make sure they stay indoors and in an enclosed room if possible. If you do allow your pet outside to go to the bathroom, be sure that your gates or fence are secure or that your pet stays on a leash. Big bangs and noise from fireworks can be very intimidating and cause a scared dog to find the smallest opening in a fence and escape. If you are having family and friends over, keep pets in a room that is off-limits to your guests with plenty of water and food.
Create a calming environment
If you’re having guests over or a party, try creating a safe place in your home where your pet can have some quiet space away from your company such as a room that’s off-limits or a familiar crate with some of their favorite toys or a comforting blanket. Play soothing music and keep the room as quiet as possible by closing doors, windows and blinds. While celebrating, it is easy to forget that loud noises can scare your four-legged friend.
Stay away from fireworks
Even if your pet does not seem obviously upset by fireworks, they can still cause harm to pets. Prevent potential burns, injuries, or possible ingestion by keeping all pets out of the vicinity of fireworks and asking friends and neighbors to avoid using them.
Start looking for your lost pet right away
Go to the animal shelter nearest to where you last saw your animal. Give them a photo or specific information about what your pet looks like, if they are microchipped and if they are wearing a license or tag. You may also search the LA Animal Services lost pet database at www.laanimalservices.com/about-animals/lost-pet/.
OK, there’s no other way to say this: All fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles, SEC. 57.55.01(A) Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC). And, yes, that means everything from sparklers to firecrackers…and anything more elaborate that flies up in the air and explodes into beautiful colored sparkles. All fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles, SEC. 57.55.01(A) Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC).
If you’d like to let your neighbors know you’re aware that fireworks are illegal in LA, the city had a do-it-yourself anti-fireworks lawn sign that you can print and post. See http://www.mysafela.org/fireworks-sign/ to get started.
And, finally, here’s the mayor (and a few other city officials) on the subject: https://vimeo.com/275310764
So…one more time…just to be clear…All fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles, SEC. 57.55.01(A) Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC).
Now that we’re clear on the illegality of personal fireworks, the big message in the Mayor’s public service announcement, for those who do love the colorful explosives, is to “find a professional show.” And, really, there are some great ones in central Los Angeles.
First and closest to home, the Wilshire Country Club puts on a big display…and you don’t have to be a club member to enjoy them. Just find any spot in the general area where you can see above the trees and watch the sky over the Hancock Park neighborhood. (It also helps to call your friends with balconies and rooftops, if you don’t have access to your own.)
Also, you’ll find good lists of professional fireworks displays – including shows at downtown’s Grand Park, Exposition Park, Dodger Stadium and more – at both https://la.curbed.com/maps/fireworks-july-4th-los-angeles-where-to-watch and http://guides.latimes.com/where-can-i-see-fourth-july-fireworks-la/
The Fourth of July is always good for at least one big community celebration, and this year you’ll find it near Lillian Way, Cahuenga and Wilcox, where neighbors will hold their 22nd annual July 4th Block Party. The event will include bounce houses, LAFD fire trucks, games, prizes, and both a taco truck and a shaved ice truck. See the flier for details. Tickets are $40 per family, or $80 if your family members would like to purchase food from the trucks.
Trash Pickup Delay
Finally, please do note that July 4th is one of the few big annual holidays during which LA Sanitation Department offices are closed, and trash service will be delayed. If your normal collection day is Wednesday, your bins will be serviced Thursday. Thursday collections will happen Friday, and Friday collections will happen Saturday. (Note, though, that there are no changes to service on Monday or Tuesday.) See the CitySan website for more information or call the 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489 if you have any questions. Also, for tips on making your celebration sustainable, and reducing your trash output over the holiday, visit the Department’s Pinterest account at www.pinterest.com/lacitysan
Have a great – and safe – Fourth of July!