Holidays

Fourth of July can be scary for furry friends. Here’s how to keep them safe.

If you have family pets that are easily spooked by loud noises, you’ll want to keep them safe and inside this Fourth of July holiday.

Erika Goering, director of marketing and communications for the Kansas Humane Society, said there are a few simple ways to make sure your furry friends stay out of harm’s way during the holiday.

“One of the biggest things that we recommend to keep pets safe over Fourth of July weekend is just keep them inside,” Goering said. “We don’t really recommend you take them outside to a show.”

Another way to keep your pets safe, Goering said, is to make sure they aren’t left outside in your yard unattended. Animals spooked by fireworks are likely to run away, even if a yard is secure, she said.

Pet owners should make sure animals have a safe place to hide inside if they are easily scared, like their crate or under a bed. You can also play music or leave the television on to try to “drown out the noise of the explosions,” Goering said. Do anything, she said, that you know puts your pet at ease, like feeding them a larger meal.

“Generally animal shelters do see an uptick in lost animals being brought in on the week of the Fourth,” Goering said.

In the case that your pet does go missing, make sure your animal has a collar and if they have a microchip that the information on it is accurate. You should also have an up-to-date photo of your pet to help identify them.

Last year, in what Lt. Brian Sigman, commander of animal services for the Wichita Police Department, said was a “rarity,” the Wichita Animal Shelter didn’t have any runaway pets turned in overnight on the Fourth of July.

“Normally when we come in on July 5, we get bombarded,” Sigman said. “We didn’t have a single one (overnight).”

The next day after the shelter opened, however, 31 pets were turned into the shelter, which is up from the 23 pets turned in during that time in 2017.

If your pet gets out, Goering said the first step you should take is calling the Wichita Animal Shelter at 316-350-3366, or visit the shelter at 3303 N Hillside St. Monday through Saturday, the shelter is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. On Sunday, it is open from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

To look for your pet at the animal shelter, you must be at least 18-years-old and present a photo ID, like a driver’s license.

Also check social networks like Nextdoor and Facebook’s local community pages for lost pets and check websites like lostdogwichita.com and pawboost.com.

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