KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While many families and friends will gather to celebrate America’s Independence Day with weekend events that normally include fireworks, for pets the booming sounds can be frightening and lead to runaways and subsequent influxes of intake at animal shelters.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA says 1 in 5 pets go missing after being scared by loud noises. So it’s optimal to make efforts to keep your furry friends safe and comfortable during the patriotic festivities.
Young-Williams Animal Center says more pets go missing on July Fourth than any other day of the year. Humane Society, Tennessee Valley said they’re encouraging all to have a safe and happy holiday while helping their pets also be safe and happy. The animal shelters shared tips on how to keep pets safe during July Fourth events.
How to keep your pets safe
- Never allow your pets near fireworks
- If possible, keep pets indoors
- Set up a dark, quiet safe place for pets to hide or relax
- Cover your pet with a blanket or familiar-smelling clothing of yours to give comfort
- Distract pets with calming noises like a fan or their favorite treat; there are also videos online that show “Pet TV” or “Dog TV” if your pet enjoys watching the television.
- If you know your pet is especially fearful of loud noises, reach out to your veterinarian about medication
- Young-Williams says it’s a good idea to get your pet chipped if they aren’t already; if they are chipped, ensure the chip contact information is updated so you can be reached if your pet runs away and their chip is scanned by animal control or a local shelter/veterinarian.
If your pet goes missing – here’s what to do:
- If your pet gets lost, check local animal shelters’ websites or ask about visiting the shelter, contacting local veterinarians and searching on social media.
- Knoxville Lost & Found Pets Facebook groups also are great resources. You can search for or post a lost pet on a national database at petcolove.org
If you find a pet – here’s what to do:
- Search for its owners in your neighborhood – pets are usually found near their homes
- Residents can bring pets to their local county animal shelter; in Knox County, residents can bring found pets to Young-Williams Animal Center or call Animal Control for assistance
- Social media groups also are a huge help if you’re trying to reunite a pet and their person
Area animal shelters’ contact info for lost/found pets
Anderson County Animal Care and Control — website for Lost & Found Pets
Blount County Animal Center — website for Lost & Found Animals
Sevier Animal Care Center — website for Animal Intake Department