Fourth of July Means Runaway Pets. Make Sure Yours Is Findable

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. Did you know that the day after is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters that take in lost cats and dogs? That’s not difficult to understand, especially if your pet is excitable around loud noises. What can you do to find your pet if it goes missing, or better yet, prevent it from running off in the first place?


Run Spot Run

Of course, your furry friends can run off (or be stolen) any day of the year. But loud noises like fireworks can cause many dogs to panic and run, jump or dig to get away. They can often run wildly and when they stop, they may not recognize where they are or know how to get home. Dogs may also run because of boredom, sexual urges (if unneutered), to follow or find you, or simply because you left the door or gate open.

Outgoing, people-friendly dogs may go up to people who, hopefully, will take appropriate steps to return him or her. A shy or unsocial dog or cat will often run from strangers and hide in bushes or under vehicles. Most lost dogs are found within in a 1-mile radius of their home because they typically won’t run in a straight line for long distances. Larger dogs will usually run further than smaller dogs. Cats will travel less than dogs, but can be more difficult to find because of their tendency to hide.

Finding Fido

When your pet goes missing, it’s important to act quickly. If walking or driving the neighborhood doesn’t produce your runaway, it’s time to call in help. Contact the local animal control agency or police department. Visit your local animal shelter or their website (Weld County, Morgan County). Usually they will have a list of found pets, and you can also fill out a lost report. Tell your veterinarian to be on the lookout. Distribute flyers with a current picture of your pet to local businesses and place posters on telephone poles, street signs, etc.

Go on social media networks and ask your friends to share your message. You can also check with sites such as craigslist or Northern Colorado Lost and Found Pets. You can also download the ASPCA mobile app, to get a personalized missing pet recovery kit with detailed instructions on how to search for a lost pet.

May I See Your I.D.?

One of the best ways to ensure the safe return of your pet is to make sure it has an I.D. Your pet should wear a collar with a durable I.D. tag. In addition, your pet should have a city license if required. And that tag you received when your animal got its rabies vaccination has a number that is traceable through your veterinarian.

However, collars can be removed or lost, leaving your furry friend with no identification. That’s why a microchip is so important. Your veterinarian will insert a small chip the size of a grain of rice under the skin between the shoulders. The chip has a unique number, which is traceable to your furry friend. Most veterinarians and animal shelters have a special handheld scanner that reads the chip and displays the I.D. number. When that number is given to the registration agency, they can identify the owner and provide their contact information.

The Flipside

On the other hand, if you find a dog or cat with no owner in sight, be a good pet person and take steps to find its owner. Do not make it yours unless you do everything possible to find its rightful owner. If it has no collar and tags, check with neighbors first. Check for a microchip at your local veterinary office or animal shelter. These places may also have a matching lost pet report. Check newspapers and online lost and found notices. Place a found ad. If you don’t want to house the animal for a few days, take it to the closest animal shelter or call animal control. Only after you’ve spent a reasonable time and effort trying to find the animal’s owner should you consider keeping it. And if the owner does show up in the future, be kind and return it.

Have a Happy and Safe Fourth

If your pet is fearful of loud noises, keep him or her inside or in a secure enclosure. If you’re going to be gone, you might want to put them in a kennel or crate or take them to a boarding facility. If your dog or cat needs a microchip or rabies vaccination (and tag), or you’d like to board him or her for the night, give Powell Veterinary Services a call to help ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for you and your furry friends.