Thursday, October 26, 2006

Halloween Do's and Don'ts

Residents and “Trick-or-Treaters” need to take special safety precautions during Halloween to ensure the holiday is safe and enjoyable for the entire family including companion animals.

Halloween can be a frightening time for many animals. Each Halloween, Animal Services rescues pets with injuries that could have been avoided. The noise, costumes and activity of Halloween can be a threatening and bewildering experience – with unexpected results. Constant intrusions by ‘Trick-or-Treaters’ can make a normally friendly dog frightened or aggressive and cause a complacent house cat to dart out an open door.

LA Animal Services suggests pet guardians remember to take these safety precautions for a safe Halloween:

* Leave Pets at home. Do not take them trick-or-treating.

* Keep all pets indoors – including those that normally live outside. This will help prevent them from escaping and becoming victims of pranks or abuse.

* Keep pets in a secure and quiet room – as far away as possible from Halloween activity.

* Keep children away from animals. Otherwise friendly animals may be frightened and behave unexpectedly.

* Keep candy out of pet’s reach. Candy can be harmful to pets and chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs.

* Have traceable identification on pets at all times. Remember that frightened animals tend to run and may run away from home. Identification/license tags and microchips help reunite owners with their companion animals.

* Keep pets away from decorations. Flames in jack-o-lanterns and candles can quickly singe, burn or set fire to a pet’s fur. Pets can become tangled in hanging decorations like streamers and can choke on some decorations if they chew on them.

* Resist the urge to put your furry friend in a costume. Most pets dislike the confinement of costumes and masks, and flowing capes can cause injuries if the pet gets caught on something.

If your pet becomes lost, begin searching immediately. Visit LA Animal Services’ website: that features photos of all shelter animals. You should also visit your local Animal Care Center – beginning with the nearest one, as often as possible. If a lost animal is brought to an Animal Care Center, Animal Services personnel will call the owner if the animal has a license, microchip or identification. If you love your pet, license your pet!

LA Animal Services rescues and cares for over 40,000 lost and homeless animals annually. This Halloween adopt a lucky dog, cat or rabbit and provide him or her a loving home. Together we can make LA the safest City in the United States for our pets!