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Date Released: 12/15/2011
Subject: Holiday Safety Tips
Contact: Sgt. Kym Thomspon
Case No#: N/A
Released By: Sgt. Kym Thompson

Location: Humboldt County

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter would like to remind pet owners of some of the potential hazards associated with the Christmas Holiday.

Christmas Trees: The water in your Christmas tree stand may contain preservatives or fertilizers, which, if ingested by your pet, cold lead to stomach upset. Stagnant water can also breed bacteria, which can cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhea if ingested.

Electrical Cords: If chewed, could electrocute your pet. Cover and hide them if possible.

Ribbon/Tinsel: Can become lodged in the intestines and cause obstruction.

Lilies: Commonly used in holiday floral arrangements, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.

Holly/Mistletoe: Holly can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and lethargy if ingested by your pet. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems.

Poinsettias: If ingested can cause irritation to your pets mouth, and mild vomiting or nausea.

Antifreeze: (used in snow globes) Can be fatal to your pets if ingested, even in small quantities. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste.

Chocolate: Contains Theobromine and Caffeine that can cause stimulation of the central nervous system, increased heart rate and tremors. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, hyperactivity increased thirst and urination. This can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 oz. of baking chocolate by a 10 lb. dog.

Macadamia nuts: If ingested by dogs can cause muscular weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and abdominal pain.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested any of these items, contact your veterinarian immediately, or the Animal Poison Control Center’s Hotline @ 1-888-426-4435.

There are many wonderful animals up for adoption at the shelter. Please come in and visit us at 980 Lycoming Ave. in Mckinleyville, or visit to see all of our adoptable pets.

If you would like to make a donation for the benefit of the shelter animals, we would love to have toys and treats. Cash donations can be made to the Friends for Life Emergency Medical Fund at the shelter, by mail at P.O. Box 962, Eureka Ca, 95502, or by going to

The staff at the shelter would like to wish everyone a happy Holiday Season!

Mike Downey




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