Thunderstorms Bring Dangers of Loud Noises Home

Many dogs are afraid of loud noises a problem that takes on additional importance this time of year, with 4th of July Fireworks celebrations in most communities.  Recently, one of our own employees’ dogs became frightened during a thunderstorm and chewed through a screen door to escape.  Staff members and friends are now scouring a Stoneham neigborhood (click here for enlarged map) to find “Old Dirty” (left), a 60-lb and very sweet pit bull mix.

On June 30, specially-trained rescue technicians from the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston, staff, and friends scoured the Stoneham neighborhood where Old Dirty was last seen.

If you see Old Dirty, please call the Animal Rescue League of Boston at 617-426-9170.

Stoneham Sun News Story About Old Dirty


Loud Noises And How Dogs React

Dr. Amy Marder, director of the Center for Shelter Dogs at the Animal Rescue League of Boston and noted animal behaviorist, commented “Due to unusually intense and frequent thunderstorms, this season has been exceptionally bad for dogs and cats with noise phobias.  While most fearful dogs shake, pant and pace, some will attempt to escape, especially when left alone.”

There are things that you can do to help your pet be more comfortable during these times:

  1. Blocking the noise through the use of window fans and air conditioners helps many animals. 
  2. Showing your dog or cat to a quiet, safe area, such as a basement, closet or padded crate may also be appreciated. 
  3. Some phobic animals require the use of anti-anxiety medication to help them be comfortable. 
  4. Contact your veterinarian if you think that your dog or cat needs medication.

If your dog is fearful of loud noises, please take extra precautions during the Fourth of July. Doors, fences, and other enclosures that might keep your dog safe normally might not be sufficient during a storm.  Consider taking your pet to visit a friend somewhere that the noise from fireworks is minimal, and if you do need to be home, be sure your dog is securely contained and that there are no opportunities to escape through screens, gates, or fences. If your dog does become lost, waste no time in calling your local animal control officer.

The Massachusetts Animal Coalition has a very informative website detailing all the steps you can take to maximize your chances of finding a lost pet: