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Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe This Fourth of July

By Jacques Du Preez

Meet our friend, 4-year old Hound Dog, Trigger. This friendly boy came to Monadnock Humane Society as a stray, but has since charmed all of the staff and volunteers he has met! Trigger just loves the outdoors and in typical Hound fashion, takes every chance he gets to put his nose to work, following a good scent. He would make an excellent hiking or hunting partner. Although Trigger wasn’t necessarily scared off due to a commotion, he is sadly the one out of every three pets that get lost during their lifetime, and even sadder, not the one in 10 lost pets that are safely found and returned to their families. 

The Independence Day holiday can be especially terrifying for pets that are sensitive to all the loud noises that come with fireworks and celebrations. Many pets, easily frightened by extreme noises, have been known to escape fenced and secured areas out of fear and bewilderment. These holidays tend to result in a drastic increase in the number of stray animals entering Monadnock Humane Society and other shelters across the county post July Fourth commemoration. Pets, and humans with PTSD, tend to get very frightened by fireworks we view as celebratory, whether it is large firework displays or our neighbors setting off unscheduled fireworks in their backyards. 

It is important that pet parents have a sound plan in place to help keep their four legged family members calm and safe. We urge all families with pets to put a plan in place well in advance, which includes keeping pets inside your home and in a secure location where they can’t escape.

Pet parents can reduce the risk of their pets getting lost by taking these simple and easy to implement steps:

1. Ensure your pet is microchipped and the information connected to the chip is up to date. Microchipping is permanent pet identification. The process is safe, simple and designed to quickly identify lost pets and reunite them with their owners. The microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), is injected beneath the surface of the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds and your pet will not react any more than she would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required. Monadnock Humane Society has weekly clinics, on a Wednesday afternoon, where you can have your pet microchipped. Visit our website for more information – https://monadnockhumanesociety.org/

2. Collars with tags, or even better, a GPS Tracking System! Make sure your pets have collars with contact information tags and that your dogs are licensed where required. If you aren’t able to secure tags, simply write your phone number on the collar with a marker. If your pet escapes your home and runs away, and you have your phone number on their collar, the person who finds your pet can quickly give you a call and start the process of reuniting you with your beloved pets, skipping a trip to the shelter! There are wonderful GPS solutions these days for tracking your dogs and cats.

3. Consult a veterinarian for pets with anxiety. If your pet is particularly scared during July Fourth celebrations, medication may help them stay calm. Make an appointment early with your veterinarian to seek out remedies to lower your pet’s stress level if this is a known issue. 

4. Create a safe zone at home. When scared, some animals may become destructive, so be sure to remove anything from reach that can become damaged or may harm your pet if chewed or eaten. Leave your pet in an area of your home where they are safe, comfortable and sheltered from any outside noise and lights. Making sure your pet is crate trained can also help them have a space where they feel secure and at ease.

5. Make plans early for a pet sitter! If you won’t be home during July Fourth celebrations, consider finding someone to watch your pet. Having company can help them stay calm and ensure they don’t get lost. 

Although Monadnock Humane Society is closed to the public on Monday, July 4, we will be open again on Tuesday, July 5. If you find a stray over the holiday, please keep them safe overnight and bring them to MHS on July 5th. If you opt to keep them overnight, we suggest you keep them separate from your own pets. If you are unable to safely keep the found pet overnight, please either call your local animal control or law enforcement department for assistance. If you notice a stray pet in your yard or out in the community and are unable to catch the pet, please kindly add them to our Lost/Found database, Ten Thousand Eyes, which you can find here – https://www.tenthousandeyes.com/