Keep your pet calm & safe amid Fourth of July festivities

If there’s one week of the year that keeps animal shelter staff and leadership up at night, it’s the week after the Fourth of July.

It’s not uncommon for pets to get spooked by the fireworks and flee in panic before they’re found by a well-meaning stranger and taken to the Pima Animal Care Center.

Pets can enjoy celebrating the Fourth in a quiet, safe space – preferably with a toy and some treats! Our shelter typically sees 250 to 300 dogs come in – even though it’s already full.

Industry data tells us that one in three pets are lost at some point in their lives, but it’s easy to believe that that will never be our pet. After all, we’re careful! We love our fur babies! But care and love don’t mean that mistakes don’t happen, that a child won’t leave a gate open or that the sights and sounds from nearby fireworks displays won’t frighten our pets.

If you have pets, it’s time to start preparing for the holiday now.

It may seem too simple, because it is. Collars and tags with up-to-date contact information are the most effective way to get lost pets home.

If you need a tag for your pet, we offer them for free here at PACC to anyone who needs them who needs them, any time we’re open. Need a last-minute solution? Write your phone number in permanent marker on their collar. 

Is your pet microchipped? If not, you have one last chance before the holiday to get it done for free at PACC on Wednesday, July 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.!

These tiny chips are often the key to reuniting pets with their families days, weeks, months and even years after they’re lost.

Fido does NOT want to go to the fireworks show! Every year, we hear stories of people taking their normally easygoing dogs to see the fireworks and losing them when they panic. In the best case scenario, these families are quickly reunited, but sadly these stories often end in tragedy.

Leave your pet at home in a quiet, safe space with something to occupy them, like a bone or a Kong toy filled with peanut butter.

If you do lose or find a pet, your first step should be to upload their photo to Petco Love Lost. Their state-of-the-art image recognition technology collects lost and found reports from across the internet to reunite pets in the community without them ever having to step a paw into an animal shelter.

See more tips for what to do if you find or lose a pet on our website.

With your help, I’m certain that we can keep pets with their families this Fourth of July.