Local authorities are urging residents to ensure their dogs are secure during the Fourth of July fireworks and afterwards, and to also avoid keeping their pets in the car or walking them on hot pavement during the summer.
Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section, said authorities “can’t emphasize enough to keep your dog at home and in a secure room for the fireworks season, especially if you know your dog is weary of the noises.”
“They will bolt and they will run and we have lost dogs permanently in the past,” Halm said. “I know dogs that have jumped out of second-floor windows.”
The “season” could last for about two weeks as private homeowners set off their own fireworks, though the “intense nights” where they’re popping off for 20 minutes or more continuously can be most stressful on dogs, she said.
In addition, Halm urged dog owners to leave their dogs at home while running errands rather than having the animals in a hot car.
“In my opinion, unless you have someone in the car that can wait with the dog, you should not bring your dog,” Halm said. “It is so dangerous and people will call a dog in a car in to police headquarters even when it’s 60 degrees out. So you will get a call and you will be embarrassed because we will be waiting by your car if it is questionable.”
Halm noted that the state enacted a law in October that protects passersby civilly and criminally in cases where an individual removes a child or animal from a car if he or she has “reasonable belief” that the child or animal is in “imminent danger of serious bodily injury.”
Halm said that officials are recommending that people contact police immediately to help determine when a dog is in distress—making that determination “can be tricky,” she said.
Finally, during the summer months, Halm said, dog owners should only walk their dogs in the sun on hot pavement before dawn or after dusk.
“If you run with a dog, please take your shoes off and put your feet on the pavement before you leave with a dog, to make sure it’s not uncomfortable,” she said.