WILLCOX — Barring unforeseen events, the Willcox Fire Department will be setting off fireworks July 4.

During this time Willcox Police is asking the public’s help in keeping animals safe and secure.

During this holiday, people have a tendency to forget that pets don’t realize it is a day of celebration and nothing bad is going to happen to them. Year after year, the Willcox Police and Humane divisions take numerous calls for service dealing with lost pets; and, unfortunately, not all pets that get lost are returned.

Dogs have a tendency to run when scared and can travel long distances. Dogs have acute, hypersensitive hearing and are easily disturbed by loud noises.

While the Humane Division does an extremely good job of reuniting people with their pets after these events, it can be very difficult if the pet does not have an ID tag, microchip or some other means to locate its family. The Cochise County Animal Control Division has lost the Huachuca City Animal Shelter due to a fire, and now any animals picked up throughout the county are impounded in either the Willcox Humane Shelter or the Douglas Animal Shelter, which can lead to confusion on how to locate a lost pet.

Willcox Police is asking all persons to take time to think of their pets and have them secured in a manner that will keep them from running away from the loud noises that are going to happen.

Even though one may not live close to sanctioned fireworks, just remember Arizona’s neighbors to the east, in the “Great State of New Mexico” sell fireworks. Although aerial fireworks are illegal in the state of Arizona, some people feel the need to celebrate supersedes state law and will bring aerial fireworks back to their residences and light them off in celebration.

Aerial fireworks can not only have detrimental effects on pets, they also extend the possibility of starting brush fires. The Willcox Fire Department will have “brush crews” available for local firework celebrations and may not be able to respond outside of the local jurisdiction until all of festivities have concluded.

Again, please think of the pets; keep them secured, and refrain from shooting personal fireworks.

For more information contact the Willcox Department of Public Safety, 320 W. Rex Allen Dr., at 520-384-4673, or go online at cityofwillcox.org.

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