There will be noise

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Not sure where the year went but it seemed like it flew by in the blink of an eye.

There were so many wonderful things that happened in 2016. I had the honor of meeting lots of fantastic people who joined forces with my nonprofit animal welfare group, Central Georgia CARES, to take care of animals in need and the people who love them.

With the help of caring volunteers and generous donors we were able to make a big difference in our community this year. I have no doubt there are even more possibilities to make a positive impact for animals and the people who love them in 2017.

It will be a year filled with promise and potential. CARES is prepared with our plan that will move the cause of animal welfare forward in an incredible way.

But first we ring in 2017. So Saturday night will be a festive occasion where we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017 with great anticipation.

One thing we can anticipate for certain is there will be noise. I have no doubt there will be fireworks for sure. To animals it is scary noise. More specifically, it sounds like gunfire or explosions.

While they’re beautiful, colorful and celebratory, I really can’t think of an activity that strikes greater fear in an animal than the sound of fireworks. So much fear that animals, even well-behaved pets, may react in a way no one could predict.

I can tell you with great confidence fireworks can create sheer panic in a dog or cat that otherwise may be calm and relaxed, causing them to behave in a way that may jeopardize their own safety.

You see, when most animals hear the sound of fireworks they will do anything to try to get away from it. Even the most loyal pet may run away from the family they love to try to escape the terrifying noise.

That’s why it is the pet parents’ responsibility to keep them safe any time fireworks may be expected. And it’s certainly expected Saturday night.

Here’s an important fact for pet parents to remember: A fence, whether it’s a physical fence such as a chain link, or an invisible fence, will not make a pet feel safe during fireworks. So many of the pets who are lost during loud noises were confined in fences that frightened pets dug under, climbed over or chewed through. That’s why, if at all possible, pets should be inside the house long before fireworks begin.

Bring your pets inside before dark Saturday night and place them in a quiet room with soothing music or television. Make sure they’re not near an exterior door to prevent them from bolting in the event someone opens the door.

Also, please make sure they have on their collars with identification. If you don’t already have ID tags for them, please take a minute to get a Sharpie pen and write your phone number on their collars.

If you’re ringing in the New Year at home Saturday night, please sit with your pets and console them during the noise. If ever they need reassurance, they need it when sounds so loud frighten them into panic.

Your pets are counting on you to protect them and make them feel safe on New Year’s Eve. And what could be more fun than spending New Year’s with your favorite furry family member?

Happy New Year!

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