LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More pets go missing on Fourth of July than any other holiday. Shelters across the valley are preparing for the possible influx of animals this weekend.
The Animal Foundation says it took in 412 lost and frightened animals from July 1-10 in 2020. Only 23% of those animals were reclaimed by their owners.
The loud sights and sounds of fireworks can lead to extreme anxiety for pets and sometimes leads dogs to dig or jump over fences, even break windows in an attempt to get away.
KEEP THEM INSIDE
There are some things you can do to make your pet as comfortable as possible in your home. Experts say this weekend it’s important we keep our pets indoors in a secure room whenever fireworks shows are likely. You can close windows, draw curtains, and play loud music or turn on the TV to drown out the sounds of the fireworks.
"There are so many shelters like ours that are overloaded right now. So our advice is, and a lot of people don't want to hear this, if you animal is going to be stressed out, stay home. Don't go out," said Lori Heeren, Executive Director of Nevada SPCA.
ANXIETY MEDICINE AND OTHER OPTIONS
If you know you cat or dog gets severe anxiety, plan ahead by discussing prescription options with your veterinarian. Veterinarians with the Best Friend Animal Society say milder anxiety can be helped with things like a thunder shirt, which swaddles your pet and comforts them.
You’ll want to keep your pets away from lit fireworks at all times. Some will chase after the bright lights making them at risk for being burned or blinded. Unlit fireworks should be stored away, because they’re toxic if ingested.
If you pet becomes lost, the Animal Foundation says to explore your neighborhood, check with neighbors, post them on social media and register them as lost at lost.petcolove.org.
If you find a lost pet, it’s likely that they live close by. The Animal Foundation says a majority of dogs who go missing stay in their neighborhood. You can also use social media like Next-door and Facebook to see if anyone recognizes the animal.
To claim a lost pet at the shelter, you must bring proof of ownership, veterinary records, proof of rabies vaccine, or microchip number.
Lost dogs that are brought to the Animal Foundation will be held for 72 hours.