No Picnic for Pets

June 30, 2017

By: Gina Browning, SPCA Chief Communications Officer


The SPCA Serving Erie County receives more stray, unidentified animals in the days immediately following July 4th than any other time throughout the year.

Fireworks cause many pets to panic, resulting in extreme and sometimes dangerous escape measures from homes or yards. Without identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite pet with owner.  Please keep the following tips in mind this holiday:

* ENSURE ALL ANIMALS ARE WEARING CURRENT IDENTIFICATION! Even if the animal has microchip identification, place a collar with an ID tag on your pet. If a neighbor finds your animal, an ID collar that includes your phone number can lead to a faster reunion.

* DON’T TAKE ANIMALS TO FIREWORKS DISPLAYS…a startled animal may not only break free and run away, but may also bite. An animal confined to a closed vehicle during these displays can experience an overwhelming stress level that can cause physical harm to the pet, and/or damage to the vehicle’s interior.

* HAVE SOMEONE HOME WITH NERVOUS PETS DURING FIREWORKS…if the animal is with someone he or she knows, the pet’s stress level will be greatly reduced. Keep the volume on a television or radio turned up to block some of the noise. ThunderShirts reportedly work to calm the anxiety felt by some dogs and cats when they can hear fireworks, thunder, even when they experience separation anxiety. Read more about Dog ThunderShirts or Cat ThunderShirts.

If a pet manages to escape, community members can visit our Stray Animal Information page, which includes effective ways to find a lost pet. See contact information for animal control organizations by village, town, or city here.

The sounds and sights of fireworks often have the ability to turn the most calm, quiet, and non-aggressive pet into a stressed, frightened animal. Don’t take a chance…home is the safest place for pets this holiday.Home is also the safest place for pets, especially on extremely hot days, during arts festivals, food festivals, and other crowded outdoor events.  Very hot weather paired with immense crowds of people and loud, strange noises heighten the stress level for many animals.  Your pet’s body is closer to the asphalt and can heat up quickly. The hot pavement can also burn unprotected, sensitive paw pads.

If you bring your dog to these events and realize it’s becoming too overwhelming for him or her, DON’T KEEP YOUR DOG IN A TURNED-OFF CAR WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME!  The effects of heatstroke on even slightly warm days can begin within mere minutes.

See additional summer pet tips here. For more information, call the SPCA: (716) 875-7360.


Those who witness a situation that might constitute
cruelty and/or violence toward animals in Erie County,
including animals left outdoors with inappropriate
shelter in yards, are encouraged to report the
circumstances to the SPCA Serving Erie County:
716-875-7360 or