Halloween Precautions Urged For Pets And ?Trick-Or-Treaters?

L.A. Animal Services cautions residents to take special safety precautions during Halloween to ensure the holiday is safe and enjoyable for children and family companion animals.

?Halloween can be a frightening time for many animals,? reminds L.A. Animal Services interim General Manager Sharon Morris. 

?The noise, costumes and activity of Halloween can be a threatening and bewildering experience ? with unexpected results,? she added.  ?Constant intrusions by ?Trick-or-Treaters,? for instance, can make a normally friendly dog frightened or aggressive and cause a complacent house cat to dart out an open door.?

L.A. Animal Services joins other local animal control agencies in restricting the adoption and release of black cats from shelters during Halloween, as they often become the target of pranks and abuse during the holiday. 

Black cats will not be available for adoption from City of Los Angeles Animal Shelters from October 22nd to November 2, 2004.  The cats will be held through the holiday and will be available for adoption after November 2, 2004.  (Note: The only exception to the Halloween black cat restriction applies to shelter adoption partners/rescue groups holding 501c3 cards.)
L.A. Animal Services urges pet owners to take the following precautions during Halloween:

? Leave pets at home.  Do not take them trick-or-treating.

? Keep all pets indoors ? including those that normally live outside.  This will help prevent them from escaping and becoming victims of pranks or abuse. 

? Keep pets in a secure and quiet room ? as far away as possible from Halloween activity.

? Keep children away from animals.  Otherwise friendly animals may be frightened and behave unexpectedly.

? Restrict your pet?s access to jack o? lanterns and candles ? they can become injured or cause a fire.

? Have traceable identification on pets at all times. Remember that scared animals tend to run and may run away from home.  Identification tags and microchips help reunite owners with their companion animals.  Make sure each animal has a collar with a license or tag with the owner?s name and telephone number.

? If a pet becomes lost, begin searching immediately.  Visit L.A. Animal Services? website: www.LAAnimalServices.com that features photos of all shelter animals.  You can also visit L.A. animal shelters ? beginning with the nearest one ? as often as possible.  If a lost animal is brought to a shelter, personnel will call the owner listed if the animal has a license or other identification.

? Do not give trick-or-treat candy to pets.  Chocolate can pose a special risk to an animal?s health if ingested in toxic amounts.  High levels of chocolate can cause restlessness, increased urination and even convulsions.  In severe cases, it can cause cardiac and respiratory arrest and death.  Should an animal ingest chocolate and display these symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately.


? If you must dress your pet in a Halloween costume:
? Do not use rubber bands or anything constricting, annoying or unsafe.
? Be extra-careful with ties, snaps or zippers that can restrict breathing or movement.
? Do not place hats, hoods or other material over an animal?s face.  This can agitate an animal.

? If you must take your dog ?Treat-or-Treating,? make sure it is properly tethered.  Use a leash but make sure its collar is not on too tight.  Remember that all dogs have the potential to bite!

? Prevent all human and domestic contact with bats!  Bats are increasingly implicated as important reservoirs for rabies transmittal to humans.  Rabies can be transmitted through bite exposure (teeth penetrating the skin).  Rabies can also be transmitted through non-bite exposure to a bat?s saliva such as through the contamination of open wounds, abrasions and mucous membranes.  If you suspect that you or your companion animal has been exposed in any way to a bat, immediately seek medical attention and request that you and/or your pet be tested for rabies. If possible, safely collect the bat and also submit it for rabies testing.  Should a bite or scratch occur, immediately and thoroughly wash the area with soap and water and seek medical attention.

For additional information on companion animal safety, residents may call L.A. Animal Services at 1-888-4LA-PET1 / 1-888-452-7381 (TTY Hearing Impaired: 877-875-8205) or visit the Department?s website: www.LAAnimalServices.com.

L.A. Animal Services is one of the largest organizations in the nation that rescues, houses and cares for some 70,000 lost and abandoned animals annually, enforces animal-related laws and acts to prevent cruelty to animals. 

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