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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, December 28, 2003

New Year's Eve scary for your pets

Hawaiian Humane Society

As the New Year approaches, many of us ponder our choices for resolutions by reflecting on the changes we want to make.

Holiday hours

Adoptions and McInerny Dog Park at the Hawaiian Humane Society are normally open Mondays-Fridays noon-8 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Special holiday hours for visiting and retrieving lost animals:

• Dec. 31 and Jan. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• The shelter and park are closed New Year's Day.

Animal intake and emergency animal rescues:

• 24 hours every day, including New Year's Day. Call 946-2187, ext. 285.

Though resolutions are often personal goals, the Hawaiian Humane Society suggests we broaden our scope to include those who cannot speak for themselves — animals. Since 1897 this organization has been dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond and the humane treatment of all animals.

As 2003 ends, our New Year's resolutions can include humane acts of kindness, big and small.

Begin close to home with your own companion animals. New Year's celebrations are a scary time for pets who are frightened by explosions, pops, bangs and bright flashes.

Many animals become so scared that they escape from their safe yards and run away. As the guardian of your pets, plan ahead to protect them from becoming lost or injured.

• Resolution No. 1: Bring all pets indoors during fireworks, even pets who normally stay outside. Place them in a quiet room or garage away from the excitement. Provide food and fresh water, and for cats, litter boxes.

Turn on the TV or radio to block out the pyrotechnics. Don't give human tranquilizers or medications to animals. Check on your pets throughout the night to reassure them during this stressful time.

The new year brings the highest number of "lost pet" reports to the Humane Society, and many animals arrive at the shelter with no ID tag or microchip.

The reunion of a worried family with their frightened pet is made much easier when your pet has proper identification. Take a moment to write your phone number on your pet's collar. Even if your pet lives inside, she can slip out the door with arriving or departing guests.

• Resolution No. 2: If you don't have a tag, write your phone number on your pet's collar with a permanent marker. If your pet already has a microchip ID, think about whether you have changed your address or phone. The Hawaiian Humane Society will be happy to update your record — just call 946-2187, ext. 0, during business hours.

The Hawaiian Humane Society has a comprehensive Web site offering information on phone numbers, pet care, animal-related events, news, adoptions, first aid and laws. The address is www.hawaiianhumane.org.

• Resolution No. 3: Explore the ways you can make the new year a better one for animals. Get involved in animal-related legislation. Spay or neuter your own pets through the low-cost Neuter Now program and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Teach your children to be kind to animals. Make a donation to help support animal welfare efforts. Volunteer at your local animal shelter where your efforts may be rewarded with a slobbery kiss or contented purr.