Back when I worked in Animal Rescue, the days surrounding July 4 were the most consistently heartbreaking of all.
Those were the days that the calls came in – “I can’t find my dog.” “My cat is missing.” We also got found dog calls, and people coming to the shelter to drop off dogs that had appeared at their homes.
Very seldom were we able to match the found dogs with the lost reports.
Because fireworks terrify many dogs and cats – and terrified animals run as fast and as far as they can to get away from the sights and sounds that are scaring them.
If they aren’t hit by cars or shot, they become so lost that they can’t find their way home. Some end up in shelters in other communities – where their owners don’t think to look because it’s too far away. They either go to new homes or are put to sleep when the 3 or 4 days is up.
Yes – many “kill shelters” dispose of the dogs and cats just 3 or 4 days after they come in.
If your pet goes missing, visit all the shelters within 60 miles of home. You never know how far the animal traveled, or who might have picked him up and taken him to a shelter far from home.
Can’t you just call? Sure – but your success will depend upon who answers the phone. If you really want that animal back, it’s best to go see for yourself. As I said, I worked in rescue, and some of our volunteers were good at looking at the “found pet” call lists while others were not.
So don’t lose them – keep them safe instead.
The ONLY way to keep your pets safe is to keep them on a leash, in a yard with you present, and locked in the house or garage when you’re not present.
A friend of mine thought her dog would be safe inside a 6′ fence while they attended a nearby fireworks display – wrong. She never saw that dog again. She learned that even a dog who has never climbed a fence before will find a way if they need to get away from the terror.
Both dogs and cats want to hide when they’re afraid, and they can still be afraid even when indoors, so give them a hiding spot. In the house they’ll get behind or under furniture. (One dog I had always hid behind the toilet during thunderstorms.) If you leave them in a garage with no hiding spaces, create a space for them with a box and blanket for comfort.