Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants everyone, including your pets, to have a fun and safe Halloween. Here are several tips to have a howling good time:

Costumes: While many children look forward to dressing up in costumes, your pet might not be crazy about the idea. If you do decide to dress your pet up, make sure their eyes, nose and mouth are not covered. Don’t force a costume on them and if they are uncomfortable, don’t make them stay in it. If you will be dressing your pet up this year, make sure they are wearing a collar and their identification tag is visible.

Candy: Make sure your bowl of candy is kept in an area where your animals cannot reach it. Make sure your children’s candy is also kept in a safe place. Chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs and wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.

Trick-or-Treat: It’s likely your doorbell will be ringing a lot during trick-or-treating hours, but your dog might not like all of the visitors. If your dog is easily excited by the doorbell, a good tip is to put a sign on your front door asking kids to lightly knock. It’s a smart idea to keep your dog in another room with the television or radio on to drown out the noise of children coming and going. This will help them feel more comfortable and less anxious. Never leave your dog outside when children will be walking around. Costumes and large groups of children can be frightening for pets.

Jack-o-lanterns: A glowing jack-o-lantern is a common sight during Halloween, but open flames and animals do not mix. Consider using a battery powered candle for your fall decorations to prevent fires and burns.

Decorations: Some fall and Halloween décor can be toxic to pets. Make sure all decorations and wires are in areas where animals can’t chew or get caught in them.

If your pet does run away, you can visit the shelter at 3020 Hillegas Road to search for your animal. If your animal is picked up by an Animal Control Officer and is wearing identification or a microchip is found during scanning, attempts will be made immediately to contact owners. In many cases, an Animal Control Officer might be able to return a pet directly to the owner's home without bringing it into the shelter. Since collars can be removed and microchips can be missed, you should still look for your pet in person at the shelter. You can learn more at