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Pet Safety on Halloween



As we enter the season of tricks and treats, it is important to remember that your favorite goodies can be dangerous, even deadly to your pets.

“We strongly urge all pet owners to share their love, not their treats and keep their Halloween bounty to themselves,” said Roseann Trezza, Executive Director, Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park. “This season is fraught with many hazards for cats and dogs. Why not stock up on dog biscuits, cat treats or chew toys so that there are no tricks attached to these treats!”

There’s nothing spooky about Clare, a cat at our Tinton Falls Animal Care Center who is looking for a forever family.

No Chocolates, Please: Who doesn’t love a nice big chocolate candy bar during Halloween season? However, for your cats and dogs they are poisonous, even in small amounts, and oftentimes are fatal.

Nix All Other Candies: Sugarless treats are fast becoming a Halloween staple, given out at many households. However, over the past several weeks, Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park has received reports of many pets who became severely ill after eating candy and gum that contains the artificial sweetener, Xylitol. And, be careful of the cellophane candy wrappers. They can be hazardous if swallowed.

Keep pets inside on Halloween and Mischief Night. Vicious pranksters have been known to abuse, harm and even kill animals in “celebration” of these two nights. Don’t leave your pets unattended in the yard or tied outside on a leash. Keep your cats inside. Black cats are particularly preyed upon during this time of year.

Keep pets away from trick-or-treaters. It’s best to keep your pets in a secured separate room with food and water during trick-or-treat time. Even the mellowest animals can get spooked by the large number of visitors, causing them to attack or try to run away. The same is true if you have a party.

Make sure your dog or cat is wearing proper identification. In case he or she runs out the door your chances are much better of having your pet safely returned to you.

Get creative with costumes for yourself, not your pets. Unless you know that your dog or cat really enjoys dressing up, don’t do it. Sure, it’s cute to see your pet dressed like Superman or a witch, but in most cases it stresses out the animal. If you must put a costume on your pet, make sure that the animal’s view is not obstructed.

Keep jack-o-lanterns, candles and any other flammable items far out of the way. Curious kitties and wagging tails can knock over items, burning themselves or causing a fire.

SPECIAL CHOCOLATE WARNING! With Halloween fast approaching comes a warning to parents and kids regarding Sherwood brand Pirate's Gold milk chocolate coins imported from China.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning the public not to eat, distribute or sell the candy. It is sold across Canada by Costco and may also have been sold in bulk packages or as individual pieces at various dollar and bulk stores.The chocolate contains melamine which is the same chemical responsible for killing several babies in China , and sickening thousands more.

Treat Yourself! Treat a needy pet! If you want to treat yourself to something sweeter than candy that can be shared with your entire family, consider adopting a dog or cat. There are hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for adoption at the Associated Humane Societies’ three Animal Shelters in Forked River, Tinton Falls and Newark. You can check them out before meeting them in person by logging on to Petfinder or take a look at our photo montages!

9/30/2008

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