See Dick light the firecracker. See Jane light the bottle rocket.
Bang, goes the firecracker! Whooosh, goes the rocket!
See Spot run!
Each Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, humane societies brace for an uptick in arrivals of frightened dogs who have escaped their homes because of fireworks.
“It’s funny,” Karen Johnwick, director of the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society, said Monday. “Some years, we get a lot of dogs turned in, either by residents or animal control officers, and calls from pet owners wanting to know if their dogs have been turned in to us. Some years, we don’t see much at all. You never know.”
This Fourth of July did not produce much of an onslaught.
“We only had one stray turned in, and we don’t know if that was because of fireworks or not. There’s no way to tell,” Johnwick said Monday. “We’ve had a couple of calls about missing dogs. Other than that, it’s been a pretty normal day.”
Animal controls made no drop-offs at CLHS on the Fourth of July or Sunday.
“I’d say it was a pretty quiet weekend,” Johnwick said.
Why some pets are afraid of noises such as thunder and fireworks is unknown. It is a common problem in dogs, but less so in cats. The fear can soon become a phobia, which is defined as a persistent, excessive, and irrational fear response. In the case of thunderstorms, pets may also be fearful of storm-associated events such as a change in barometric pressure, lightning, electrostatic disturbances, and even smells associated with the storms. Noise phobias can include fear of thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots, and even the sound of birds.
A recent study has found that certain breeds of dogs have an above average risk of developing noise phobias. These include some of the working and sporting breeds such as Collies, German Shepherds, Beagles, and Basset Hounds.
While this year’s Fourth of July did not produce a rush of terrified dogs to the facility, Johnwick said things are far from slow.
“It’s cat season,” she said. “We’re getting a lot of more cats now, which is normal this time of year.
Johnwick said CLHS is in need of cat food and cat litter to accommodate the increase in stray cat arrivals.
To donate items to the CLHS, call 662-327-3107 or visit the facility at 50 Airline Road in Columbus.
The Humane Society facility is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is email@example.com.