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How to keep your pets safe for Halloween

Monday, October 28, 2013 - 12:01 am

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants to make sure pet owners don't have a bunch of scaredy cats during Halloween.

They offer the following safety tips:

•Pets will be safest if kept inside the house or other enclosed building and away from groups of excited children. Even children who mean no harm may be more likely to tease or frighten an animal left unattended outside.

•Arrange for pets to be confined in a separate room during trick-or-treat hours. Dogs, in particular, may resent the intrusion of strangers into their territory and become anxious, which could lead to growling or snapping behaviors.

•Keep Halloween candy out of the reach of pets and make certain the candy your children receive is also out of reach. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs and cats. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.

•The best-dressed pet should be wearing a collar with a city pet registration attached. If you dress your pet in costume, make sure your pet's nose, eyes and mouth are not covered and that the pet can move normally while in the costume. Take photos, enjoy the moment, and then remove the costume. If your pet becomes agitated or distressed, remove the costume right away.

•Watch that open flames from candles or jack-o-lanterns are out of reach by pets and children.

•Instruct children not to interact with an animal they might encounter on the street or at a home they visit. A child in costume may cause an animal to react unpredictably.

• If your pet disappears, visit Animal Care & Control at 3020 Hillegas Road to search for your animal. The general business office to report lost and found pets is open 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and until 7 p.m. Wednesday. Animal Control officers are available 6 a.m.-1 a.m. seven days a week.