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Pet owners warned of Oregon Air Show noise

Officials at the Washington County animal shelter say many pets in the area are frightened by the planes that perform at the Oregon Air Show in Hillsboro.

While local residents look skyward at the stunts and majesty of flight during this weekend's Oregon Air Show in Hillsboro, staff and volunteers are the local animal shelter will be ready for calls about stray pets.

'It's the second-busiest week of the year for us,' says Deborah Wood, manager of Animal Services for Washington County. 'Only the 4th of July brings more animals into the shelter,'

The problems start early in the week when the acts begin practicing, Wood says, so pet safety is important from now through the end of the weekend. She offers the following advice:

•Make sure your pet has identification. Every pet should have collar tags and a microchip.

•If you live within earshot of the planes, keep your pets inside this week. 'Frightened animals can get out of a fenced area they would never leave under normal situations,' says Wood. She again stresses that precautions must be taken during practices - not just the days of the show.

•Make your home a sanctuary for your pet. Have an interior room (such as a bathroom or basement with no windows) where you pet can stay if he's fearful of the noise. Keep a radio or TV on for 'white noise' to soften the sounds of the airplanes.

•If your pet is sensitive to noise, talk to your veterinarian now. 'There are prescription and non-prescription products your veterinarian can give to cats and dogs that will help the animals deal with the fear of noises,' says Wood.

•If you do lose a pet, check out the shelter website, which posts photos of all strays it takes in: (www.washingtoncountypets.com - click on 'Lost and Found').

The Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th St. in Hillsboro (on the Tualatin Valley Highway, adjacent to Lowe's and Home Depot). For information call 503-846-7041.