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Consider pet safety this holiday season

Consider pet safety this holiday season

 (Clayton, NJ) -- 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 Thursday, 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 Wednesday, Dec. 26 at noon.

Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, "The holidays are a fun and exciting time, but it is easy to get caught up and forget that there are some holiday traditions that may be dangerous for our pets. It is important to take a minute while celebrating to think of what could be dangerous to our pets."

Freeholder Dan Christy, Liaison to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter said, “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. 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. Stressed out dogs may feel threatened or cornered, causing them to become unusually aggressive and bite guests or animals attempt to run away to get away from the noise and activity in the house. If you know your pet to become overwhelmed easily or 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 also important to remember to not allow special treats. It can be tempting to let your pet have special food on the holidays, but many of the foods we enjoy are not easily digestible for animals. Especially with guests coming over, it can be easy for the treats to add up and your animal may end up becoming ill. Keep track of what your pets may be given stop guests from giving them food they cannot stomach.

Even after Christmas it is important to keep a close eye on pets during festivities. Take extra caution on New Year’s Eve. 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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