PUEBLO — Elaine Allison, the Shelter Manager at PAWS for Life said earlier in the week she had "had nightmares about there being like 20 dogs in the play yard on July 5th".
For many people, July 5 this year meant a day off of work and time to recover from the celebrations the night before. However, for pet-owners like Emma Flynn, the day after July Fourth meant fear and anxiousness.
Flynn says around 9:00 pm on July Fourth near Wolf Village Apartments her 5-month old puppy, Cooper (below), slipped out of his collar during a walk at the sound of a firework being shot off nearby. She says he was neutered just under a week before and was worried about his health,
Flynn eventually located Cooper safe and sound, but others were not so lucky. Several pet owners spend July 5 morning losses after discovering that their dogs who had bolted had been hit by cars and passed away.
"We were able to get home and some we’re still looking for the owners,” said Allison, admitting that not as many dogs were surrendered on July 5 as she was expecting. However, almost everyone in Pueblo expects that leftover fireworks will continue being shot off throughout the week.
“Put those fireworks away. Just put them away, you had your fun - BOOM! BOOM! America!... But now it’s time to put them away because it does affect animals and people," said Allison.
Gary McCoy is United States Army Veteran and knows first hand how difficult fireworks can be on both people and pets. The Desert Storm Veteran adopted his two dogs from an animal shelter two years ago to help him cope with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but they too become spooked at the sounds of fireworks.
“They look out the window like... What the heck is going on!...They don’t know… They’re scared."
Although any fireworks that shoots higher than six feet into the air is illegal to shoot off by yourself in Colorado, the reality is that they continue lighting up the sky on a nightly basis.
If you are a pet owner, McCoy says to "have them close to you. Keep them inside. I know you want to be outside, some owners might want to be outside and watching the fireworks and everything like that but, reassure your dogs that you’re there".
If you find a stray in Pueblo, some resources to help them return home safely include: