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Why shelters see increase in lost pets after Fourth of July

Posted at 11:28 PM, Jul 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-04 00:10:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The noise, bright lights, and smell of fireworks can panic animals. They often escape from homes or fenced yards.

Tabitha Treloar, Richmond SPCA Director of Communications, said “We have lots of great fireworks celebrations all around Richmond and more and more Richmonders like to make their dogs part of whatever activity they are taking part of, but this is one occasion where that is not in your dog’s best interest.”

The Richmond SPCA has some advice for people to keep pets safe:

  • Walk your dog and bring them in before fireworks start.
  • Keep your dogs and cats indoors at home if you’re going out to celebrate.
  • Leave the television on to counter some of the noise outside.
  • Make sure contact information on microchips and collars is updated.
  • Distract your pet with busy toys.

The gift shop at the Richmond SPCA sells toys designed to distract animals and keep them occupied. Purchases benefit the pets at their shelter.

“We hear a lot about pets becoming lost at the fourth of July and it's absolutely preventable by just taking a couple of steps to counter their anxiety and then also avoiding any temptation you may have to take them to a fireworks show,” Treloar said.

After celebrations end, they advise you check your yard for debris from fireworks before letting pets outside.\