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Protect your pets on New Year's Eve

NORTH COAST- New Year’s Eve is one among few nights out of the year where loud noises can frighten your pets. As the clock ticks down for 2013, many will ring in the new year with sparkling lights, whistles, bangs, and pops- which might be fun for humans, but for our pets, it's a night of loud noises and scary sounds. 
"It does not take much to make them nervous or a little uneasy,” said Humboldt County Animal Shelter Sgt. Ernie Stewart.
It takes just a loud noise or an unfamiliar boom to cause a stir inside. So, what should you do?
"Unfortunately you can not predict how an animal is going to react on any given situation. Keep your animals contained inside if possible, if not inside of the residence, inside of a kennel."
Pets many hide, whine, or in many cases bolt and become disoriented or lost.
"Anything that takes an animal out of its normal routine could be the one that sets it off and makes it want to run," said Stewart.
To ensure your pet does not run away animal officials suggest finding a dark, calm space for your pet to hide out and background noise like a television or radio to drown out the loud noises.
“Do whatever you can to keep them as comfortable as possible."
You can contact the Humboldt County Animal Shelter at (707) 840-9132.
Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe:
1. Be observant of your animal’s response to loud noises. Thunderstorms and fireworks are the best known causes for pet anxiety, but celebration party favors and popping champagne corks can be just as traumatizing. If you are hosting a New Years Party, make sure your pets are placed in a comfortable area that is separate from the activities. Make sure they have plenty of water and are comfortable. When possible, refrain from keeping them outside, as fireworks and other neighbors celebrating can lead to the same worry.
2. Always keep your pet’s tags on. In the case they do get spooked and bolt for an open door or gate, an ID tag will be imperative to getting them home safely.
3. Beware of alcohol! Many pets can be drawn to glasses of beer or liquor that has been left behind after the celebration is over. Consumption of alcohol can be highly dangerous for animals, and even deadly. Make sure to thoroughly clean up the area before you allow your pets to enter. Always keep a close eye on them, and never give them any alcohol as a treat or joke.
4. Be aware of party decorations. Balloons, streamers, party hats or confetti can be unhealthy for an animal if ingested. While decorating for your party, keep the animals in a separate area where they do not have access to the decorations. If they do get into them, consult a veterinarian immediately.