As Metro Detroiters prepare to mark the Fourth of July, a St. Clair Shores family is warning pet owners about how fireworks can petrify pets.

When neighbors launched commercial-grade fireworks on Saturday, Lenka Perron watched her greyhound Dwight panic and escape through their gate, “hurting himself in the process,” she wrote on Facebook.

“He ran full speed towards Jefferson and anywhere else he could to escape,” her post read. “He ran so frantically, THAT EVERY SINGLE PAD ON EVERY PAW IS GONE. This will take months of recovery.”

Dwight urinated and defecated on himself while running, his owner wrote, and a fence on the route steered him to run in a different direction. Perron, her daughter and her brother chased him, barefoot, she said in the post, until finding the dog bloodied and exhausted.

Photos of the black dog showed him bleeding and with his paws covered for healing.

The incident serves as a message, Perron said.

“Those animal and firework statistics? Those Facebook posts? They mean something,” she wrote. “And if they don't, maybe photos will.”

Shaun Bailey, public relations specialist for the Michigan Humane Society, said there are various ways to ensure pets' safety during the holiday celebrations. Before the festivities begin, he said, owners should be sure their dogs and cats have a collar with an ID tag. If pets get spooked, they can "run for miles," he says.

During fireworks, Bailey recommends securing pets in a quiet room -- like the basement -- inside a kennel with a blanket draped over it. Pet owners also should set up box fans, televisions or radios to help cancel the noise from firecrackers. Further, Bailey suggests providing pets with distractions such as a favorite toy.

"Walk pets during the day," he said, adding that owners should check their lawns for debris that could be toxic to dogs.

If owners are worried about their pets escaping, Bailey says owners should talk with their veterinarians and consider medications.

State officials also are warning residents to be careful this holiday.

State law, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, allows consumer-grade fireworks — such as roman candles, bottle rockets and other explosives that leave the ground — to be legally sold and bought in Michigan.

The law was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December 2011 and went into effect in January 2012.

It was amended in 2013 to allow communities to ban fireworks except during the day and early night hours of federal holidays as well as the day before and after them. Under the law, consumer-grade fireworks can be used the day before, the day of and the day after a national holiday, if the community has a local fireworks ordinance. Most communities have created ordinances, and because of the state law, their ordinances ban the use of fireworks between midnight and 8 a.m. The exception is New Year's Day, when the quiet hours are from 1-8 a.m.

Read or Share this story: