Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) is ready for a population boom brought on by Fourth of July fireworks.
Each year around Independence Day, animal shelters around the nation fill up with strays that were spooked by the bangs, booms, and pops of the holiday. For the third year in a row, RASKC is teaming up with Missing Pet Partnership to assist owners looking for stray pets after the holiday through the innovative “Mission Reunite: Help and Hope for Lost Pets” program.
“Pets don’t understand what the noise is all about, and they can get frightened very easily,” said Dr. Gene Mueller, RASKC Manager. “In addition, their hearing is far more sensitive than ours, so loud noises have an even bigger impact on our pets.”
To help your pet cope with the noise from fireworks, and reduce the chance that it runs away, RASKC offers these tips:
Keep your pet secured indoors in the quietest room of your home while fireworks are audible. You can also use soothing music or television as a distraction. Some pets will stay calmer when placed in a secure crate in a darkened, quiet room.
If your pet is normally kept outside, bring them inside or put them in a garage or basement while fireworks are going off.
Make sure your pet has at least two forms of identification. This can be a pet license and personalized tag, a license and a microchip, or all three (license, tag, and microchip). Pets with ID have a much greater chance of being returned to their owners.
Don’t assume that your pet won’t react just because you haven’t had problems in the past. Sometimes, pets become sensitive to loud noises later in life.
If your pet is lost, check in person at all local shelters, and check back often. It may take some time before spooked pets are brought to shelters.
If a pet does manage to escape, RASKC is ready to help. In recent weeks, RASKC volunteers have been training with Missing Pet Partnership to assist pet owners looking for strays. Starting Wednesday, July 3 through Monday, July 8, volunteers in the Mission Reunite program will be deployed at the King County Pet Adoption Center to help people looking for lost animals. A “Lost Pets” booth will be open during regular business hours at the center, 21615 64th Ave. S. in Kent.
“Many lost animals can be found, but it takes time. Too many families give up too soon, and eventually their pets end up in an animal shelter and then get adopted out,” said Sarah Luthens, RASKC Volunteer Program Manager. “There are several techniques that can increase the chance of finding your lost pets, and our Mission Reunite volunteers are ready to help you.”
Owners of stray pets can also visit the Missing Pet Partnership website, missingpetpartnership.org, for advice and assistance, or call RASKC at 206-296-3936 for help.
The King County Pet Adoption Center is open from 3-6 p.m. Monday, noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. weekends. The center will be closed on Independence Day.