Posted by: Green Knight | October 28, 2010

Halloween Safety for Pets

We all know about child safety concerns (poisoned candy, stalkers, etc.), but we also need to remember our animal friends during Halloween season.  Animal cruelty is a constant phenomenon; just three weeks ago a 28-year-old Virginia man set his brother’s dog on fire during an argument (the 1-year-old dog put itself out by rolling on the grass).  However, during spooky week, the abusers seek out strays and outdoor pets for vicious deeds, especially cats, and especially black or orange cats.  Tying a string of firecrackers to a cat’s tail is old school, but very stressful.  Dousing one in gasoline and setting a match to it is not uncommon.  Worse forms of torture and murder I won’t describe here, but they do occur.  The main safety tip is to KEEP ALL PETS INDOORS.  Halloween is on a weekend this year, so that means Friday through Monday morning.  If you live within visual range of a cemetery, keep an eye out, as they are typical sites for bored teenagers to enact invented pseudo-Satanic rituals in which animals are often injured or killed.

Also, follow stress reduction practices, same as for 4th of July, since loud noises and lots of doorbell use and front-door activity are likely.  Cats can make a dash past ankles and be outside before you know it, so if yours is used to being able to go outside, or is just an escape artist, keep it in a closed room, with food, water, and litter, away from sources of agitation.  Same thing for dogs that are easily stressed.  And if you have feral cats in your neighborhood, don’t try to capture them and keep them indoors; that’s more stress than they need.  Do your best, though, to keep an eye on them and notify police of any suspected harassment.  Some “youths” in my neighborhood killed a feral kitten with a brick a few months ago…I will be watching that population, with a flashlight handy.  A tape recording of a car alarm would be good backup to chase off undesirables, now that I think of it.



  1. Thank you for posting this Bob.

    It’s easy to get busy and forget about our animal companions.

    Halloween is especially dangerous for cats.

    Great advice my dear friend!

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