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Pet safety during the holiday season

Press release from Gloucester County

The Gloucester County Animal Shelter would like to share helpful reminders on how residents can keep their pets safe and happy during the holiday season.

For families looking to adopt from the shelter this holiday season, the last day of release for animals will be Dec. 20. This cutoff is due to newly adopted animals requiring time to become acclimated to their new home before the rush of the holiday. The animal shelter will not start to release animals again until after Christmas to avoid stress being put onto the animals. The animal shelter will resume the release of animals again on Dec. 26 at noon.

“Decorating the house can be an important part of any household that celebrates, but it’s important to be aware of what our pets have access to,” said Freeholder Dan Christy, Liaison to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter. “Every year, our animal control officers receive pet emergency calls during the holidays. Keeping pet safety in mind during your celebrations can help prevent these kinds of emergencies and keep your pet happy and safe.”

Pets, especially cats, often try to eat tinsel and can choke or become very ill. Other holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to animals.

For all pets, new or old, holiday parties and family gatherings can be overwhelming. If you know your pet to become overwhelmed easily, have not exposed your pets to a large number of people at once and do not know how they’ll act, keeping them in a separate part of the house away from the excitement may be the safest option.

It is important to not allow special treats. It can be tempting to let your pet have special foods on the holidays, but many of the foods we enjoy are not easily digestible for animals. Keep track of what your pets may be given and stop guests from giving them food they cannot stomach.

Take extra caution on New Year’s Eve as fireworks can be frightening for animals, and even with a fenced in yard, they can often find ways to escape. Keep pets inside as much as possible on New Year’s Eve, and try to keep the radio or TV on to lessen the noise of the fireworks. Make sure your pets have identification tags on them at all times.

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