Pet Precautions


Halloween and its candy can be scary for pets, even lethal. An overdose of chocolate, which contains xanthine, “may result in cardiac and respiratory arrest and death,” said Dr. Dena Mangiamele, the city’s chief veterinarian.

Adoption Ban

Black cats are taboo. At least that’s the rule at area shelters where black felines are locked away until after the holiday. Too often cats were adopted as accessories to costumes and spooky parties, then abandoned. “There are also so-called religious groups that sacrifice animals,” said Leslie Eppick of the Glendale SPCA. “If desperate, they will take any cat, no matter what color.”

Leave Them Home

Forget Fido in a tutu. Pets are about the worst companions for trick-or-treaters. Costumed crowds can frighten them, prompting them to break away into traffic or become aggressive and bite. “If children see a big dog sitting on the porch, maybe they ought to avoid that property,” said Dennis Kroeplin, city wildlife specialist.


Rooftop Haunt

Madeline Bernstein, president of SPCA-L.A., was heeding her own advice: Keep pets confined to a back room. But two years ago, a child let out the cat, which dashed out the door, met a group of freaky monsters and high- tailed it for the roof. That’s why Bernstein, dressed in a black witch’s outfit, was spotted on top of her house. “It was just humiliating,” Bernstein said. “I thought, ‘This is where the SWAT team shows up.’ ”