While celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks is fun for some of us humans, our furry friends may not see it as a good time.
PetAmberAlert, a service that aims to help reunite lost dogs and their owners, estimates that the number of lost and runaway dogs jumped 30% in the days following July 4.
Ashley Sodini, outreach coordinator at the Kings County Animal Shelter, said the shelter has seen up to 40 dogs in one day over the past few years after the Independence Day holiday.
“About half of them were from people bringing in strays and the other half were from Animal Control pickups,” she said.
Like many people, sudden loud noises can startle dogs, and not knowing the origin of the sound of fireworks, many will choose to run away from what they perceive as a threat, according to Canine Journal. Also considering that many pet owners may be preoccupied with holiday parties and barbecues, runaway pets may not be noticed right away.
Sodini said they are seeing an influx of “very anxious” dogs in the week after the holidays, including huskies, German shepherds and pit bulls.
“It puts a strain on us,” she said.
The influx of dozens of new dogs in the week following the holidays overloads the shelter, which is usually close to or at full capacity, yet understaffed.
“We’re usually pretty stressed all week,” Sodini said.
Sodini estimated that only about half of pets entering the shelter due to July 4 are returned to their owners.
There are ways to increase the odds of finding lost pets, she said, like calling local animal shelters with a description of your dog.
“If you lose your pet, we’re the first place to call,” she said.
Owners can also put tags on pets that include a phone number and ensure pets are microchipped and owner information is up-to-date with their microchipping service.
Some ways to soothe dogs during fireworks include drowning out sounds by closing windows and playing music, letting them exercise or walk around beforehand, cuddling, and creating safe places by providing their favorite blankets or beds.
Cats, birds and horses can also react negatively to fireworks.
Kings County Animal Services is located at 10909 Bonneyview Ln. at Hanford.