Independence Day is, without question, a cause for celebration. It marks the day that the country was officially recognized, seceding from the British Empire and years later of course, the day when all the people of Earth united under Bill Pullman to thwart an alien invasion.

Whatever the reason, fireworks are invariably a traditional part of those celebrations, but to every pet and wild animal in the City of Santa Monica and beyond, the justification for this jubilee doesn’t matter and all fireworks actually do is cause unnecessary anxiety, panic and fear.

All fireworks are illegal in Santa Monica and officials are yet again warning potential July 4th partygoers to keep the illegal activity out of the city. According to the Santa Monica Fire code, “All fireworks shall be illegal in the City of Santa Monica including California State Fire Marshal ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks. No person shall possess, transport, sell or offer for sale, any such fireworks.”

Santa Monica’s only legal fireworks show will be at Santa Monica College on Saturday.

According to the Santa Monica PD, every year the department responds to dozens of complaints of fireworks around this time of year and while many of those complaints are reported as other kinds of calls, such as “shots fired,” they turn out to be fireworks. Local officials say the problem is national in scope with more than 19,500 reported fires started by fireworks annually.

Now add to that the fact that cats and dogs especially, but almost every other animal too, has a significantly more developed sense of hearing, or audition. You probably wouldn’t like it either if every year you were suddenly subjected to something that sounded more like a sustained artillery bombardment in the Ardennes rather than the occasional pop, whizz or bang. To them, it’s deafening.

“Every year we like to remind our residents how to keep their pets safe if there are loud noises from fireworks causing them to have anxiety,” says Lieutenant Robert Silverstein, Santa Monica Animal Shelter Foundation Board Liaison.

“They should keep doors and windows closed. The curtains or blinds should also be closed. Keep the cats and dogs inside the residence with them. If the animals are going to be left alone, secure them in a bedroom and give them something they like such as a toy or blanket. They should make sure the exterior gates and fencing are also secure in case the animal does go outside.”

To prepare your pets as best you can, please follow these recommendations from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles.

• Microchip & ID tags: Cats and Dogs should be microchipped and wear current ID tags at all times. This is the best way towards a happy reunion if your pet goes missing.

• Report lost pets: Report a lost pet to your local animal care services department. Anyone looking for a lost pet will certainly look there first. You can also post lost pets on social media and neighborhood apps.

• Keep pets indoors: Leave the family pet at home where they will be safe, secure, and less stressed. Loud noises from fireworks can cause a dog to jump a fence and run away from home or a cat to hide for days. Keeping your pets indoors will keep them out of danger.

• Train your dog: Training your dog provides mental stimulation, reduces anxiety and enables you to manage your dog safely.

• Keep pets comfortable: Create a safe space for your pet, in their bed or in a cool, well-ventilated room with soothing music playing softly in the background. Include your pet’s favorite toys, a tasty chew and a pet bed or blanket for comfort. Close windows and curtains to muffle noise and block flashing lights. It is ideal if at least one family member can stay home with the pet, especially if you know they will be in distress.

• Prepare: Consult your vet for prescribed or over-the-counter calming solutions.

• Refrain from restraint: Never tie-up your dog to keep them from escaping. The loud noises from the fireworks can frighten your pet making them more likely to attempt to flee. Dogs can seriously injure themselves, or even die, trying to escape.

• Educate children: Teach them to not scare or tease pets with firecrackers or sparklers.

“Due to fireworks and other loud activities, the time around July 4th can be very difficult for pets. It’s important that all pet owners take extra special care of their furry companions at this time,” Mayor Gleam Davis said, herself an animal lover and owner of a ​​shepherd/terrier named Sylvie.

The Santa Monica Animal Shelter still has so many wonderful animals looking for their forever homes and some have been there for far longer than they should have to be. But, even if you can’t adopt any more, or just don’t have room in your apartment that’s already filled with countless cute cats and kittens, you can still help the animals by making a donation or shopping on the Chewy wishlist. Some of the rescued animals at the Shelter need costly veterinary care, so until some super-wealthy philanthropist donates a $million or two, they still need our help.

To adopt a cat, kitten or any of the adorable available animals, you can call the Santa Monica Animal Shelter at: (310) 458-8595 to schedule an appointment.

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.