Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center, warns of 4th of July impact on pets

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — As celebrations near the start of this July 4th weekend, animal services are warning about how fireworks can affect your pets.

The Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center says they are already over capacity with 500 animals in their care, expecting another 70-80 this weekend.

“We keep our dogs indoors, they’re scared of fireworks, everyone loves them, but the dogs don’t think it’s a joke,” says pet owner Debbie Scott.

Loud, unexpected noises and flashing lights from fireworks can scare even the largest pets.

“They’ll jump your wall, they’ll wall climb anything to get away from the noise,” says Scott.

“The conditions and things that animals go through, especially dogs, cause them to have this flight or fight instinct,” says Clint Thacker, director of Mesilla Valley Animal Services. “If your pet is not under your control in a particular home, it will run away.”

Debbie Scott owns and breeds dogs, she says frightened animals running away from fireworks are a matter of life and death. “They can be hit by a car, they can be attacked by other animals, they can be lost, and they can be stolen,” says Scott.

She recommends buying a thunder shirt or looking for over-the-counter pet medication for anxious pets. She also suggests pet owners minimize the sound of fireworks as best they can.

“Having the music on, maybe the TV is a little louder than you normally do anything to calm your pet down,” Scott said.

The most important thing Scott says is, “chip your pet because if it comes out, you’re more likely to get your pet back.”

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Jennifer R. Strohm