Dog lovers will go to just about any lengths to show their pets how much they love them, but, deep down, their affection pales when compared to the loyalty we show them. For Credo, a K-9 officer in the Long Beach, CA Police Department, that devotion meant making the ultimate sacrifice. As reported by NBC-4, on June 28, the 4-year-old Begian Malinois, and his partner, Officer Mike Parcells, were involved in a standoff with an man wanted in connection with an assault. When the suspect produced a knife and advanced toward the SWAT team, officers opened fire killing the man and fatally wounding Credo who died in his partner’s arms. As his body was removed from the nearby pet hospital, tearful officers lined up to salute their fallen K-9 comrade who was involved in 30 apprehensions in his two years’ of duty. 

Credo & partner Officer Mike Parcells

Who doesn’t love the 4th of July? There’s hotdogs, beer, hamburgers, beer, soda, ice cream, apple pie, beer, sparklers, firecrackers, beer, and, if many places, public fireworks. While humans love the excess that comes with feting America’s birthday, for us pets, drunken revelers and “bombs bursting in air” can be a epic nightmare. Not surprisingly, the number of dogs and cats that end up MIA on July 4 dwarfs all other days. While you might not be able to police the neighborhood teens and their cherry bombs or have enough juice to cancel the community display, if you plan on leaving Fido alone while you celebrate, there are some common sense steps you can take to keep him safe and calm. First, before the shelling starts, secure your dogs (and cats) in a safe indoor place, hopefully one with no means of escape. Leaving dogs in a back yard, even one with a high fence, isn’t a good idea since fear can propel a dog to impressive heights or cause him to tunnel his way to freedom. A dog tied up on a second story balcony might panic and jump off, injuring or strangling himself. Left alone in an upper story room with open windows, he might dive through the screen before realizing that he can’t really fly. The best scenario is to secure your BFF (best fluffy friend) in a bedroom or bathroom with the doors and windows closed to muffle loud sounds and prevent escape. Consider playing music – Vivaldi not Metallica – to help sooth the dog’s nerves.  Some pet guardians swaddle their dogs in a ThunderShirt, a tight fitting garment that gently hugs the dog. If the price is prohibitive, try a T-shirt but make sure it’s snug and has your scent on it. In our house mom douses my bed with Adaptil, a synthetic pheromone that helps keep me chill. For very jittery dogs, consider Rescue Remedy or even doggie tranquilizers. Even the best laid plans can go awry so make sure your dog is wearing his collar and ID tag with your contact information plainly visible. If you haven’ already done so, microchip him, too. You can even get a dog GPS and tracking app but a dog on the run might lose his collar or damage the tracker. If, despite all your precautions, your dog turns up lost, contact all of the local veterinarians and nearby animal shelters. Be sure to send them a recent photo. And don’t delay, while many shelters will hold pets for extended periods, some of the more crowded ones don’t. Wait too long and you might learn that your dog has been adopted out or maybe even euthanized.

Tanner: a proud American Staffordshire Terrier and Old Glory

To ease the certain post-4th of July influx of dogs and cats, the always-awesome Best Friends Animal Society is partnering with equally terrific Los Angeles Animal Services to offer $10 adoptions at all eight city locations, and the Best Friends centers (open noon to 8 p.m.) in Mission Hills and West L.A., through the holiday weekend. Their goal is to for each center to place 100 rescue cats and dogs in loving homes. It’s a formidable number but don’t bet against Best Friends. At their June 4 & 5 No Kill L.A. mega-adoption, 679 cats and dogs found loving homes – their greatest number ever!

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