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Fourth Of July Safety Tips For Pets

The Fourth of July is one of the busiest times for the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC). DACC reminds pet owners that extra precautions are necessary in order to protect pets during Fourth of July celebrations. Dogs and cats can become startled and disoriented by the loud noises of fireworks. Pets may panic and attempt to escape from your property. To ensure the safety of your pets, here are a few tips:

• Make sure your dog’s license is current and tags are securely affixed to your dog’s collar.

• Keep your pets indoors in a cool, comfortable place.

• Do not keep your pets in the backyard, even if they are tied up. Dogs, in particular, can break free of their restraints and jump fences when scared.

• Do not take your pets to community fireworks events. Most events do not allow pets and the noises in close proximity are particularly terrifying to your pets.

• If you are leaving town for the weekend and cannot take your pets with you, make sure you leave them with someone who will be cautious during the Fourth of July celebrations.

If your pet becomes lost over the Fourth of July weekend, DACC is expanding its days and hours of operation to ensure pet owners can be reunited with their pets:

Downey, Carson, Baldwin Park, and Lancaster:
Friday, 7/3/09: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 7/4/09 and Sunday, 7/5/09: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Dorsey High School Students On A Conservation Mission To Bring Back Bird Last Seen A Decade Ago

Armed with rakes and trowels, Dorsey High School students on Saturday traveled to a new state park in Culver City on a daunting conservation mission: to bring back the cactus wren, a bird not seen there in a decade.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park is a panorama of undeveloped hills and wilderness where gray foxes still prowl and red-tailed hawks soar within sight of downtown Los Angeles. Many other natural residents, however, have been vanquished by urban encroachment.

The two dozen students aimed to lay the foundation for a cactus wren stronghold by restoring the coastal sage scrub preferred by the bird, which builds its nests deep within the protective spines of cactus patches.

After weeding a square acre of steep hillside at the Culver City park, they planted cholla and prickly pear cactus, elderberry and black walnut trees.

“Cactus grows slowly, so my goal is long-term,” said Fonda Williams, 17, who plans to enroll at UCLA next year.

“I’m hoping that years from now, I’ll visit Baldwin Hills and discover that a pair of cactus wrens are calling the cactus I planted home.”

Read the entire L.A. Times article

Tips For Dealing With Pets During Natural Disasters

Tuesday’s 4.1-magnitude earthquake in the Hawthorne area inspired the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles to issue some tips for dealing with pets during natural disasters.

“Pets depend on us for their safety, food, water and more,” said spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein. “It is imperative to have a disaster plan for your family, pets included. It only takes a little advance preparation.”

Here are some suggestions for how pet owners can prepare:

-Dogs and cats should be microchipped and wear current identification tags at all time.

-If roads are blocked, professional help may not be possible. So learn pet resuscitation and general first aid procedures.

-Try not to display stress and anxiety. Most animals understand their owner’s emotions and can cause otherwise calm pets to display aggressive behavior.

-Check pet structures and favorite hiding places for hazardous debris.

-Display “Pet Alert” signs in doors and windows.

-Keep pet vaccinations current.

-Alert local shelters immediately after discovering your pet is missing.