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Prevent frightened pets who tend to run away during firework celebrations from getting lost

July 3, 2021 (San Diego) -- As people plan their July Fourth celebrations, San Diego Humane Society is reminding pet parents to keep their animals in mind, as there is often an increase in lost pets following the holiday. With the return of the 20-minute Big Bay Boom fireworks in the City of San Diego this year, and with other celebrations expected around the County, distressed pets may find ways to flee their homes while trying to escape the noise.

To protect your pets, SDHS recommends the following:

  • Leave pets at home and inside. It is safer and less stressful for your pet if you keep them inside as fireworks can be scary and stressful for them.
  • Create a home sanctuary. Leave your pet in an area of your home where he or she is safe, comfortable and sheltered from any outside noise and lights.
  • Pet-proof your 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.
  • Identification is essential. Make sure all your pets are microchipped with current contact information tags on their collar and that your dogs are licensed. Visit for more information.
  • Consult a veterinarian for pets with anxiety. If your pet struggles with anxiety, check with your veterinarian before July Fourth for recommend remedies to lower their stress level during the holiday.

“July Fourth is a holiday for people, not animals, which is why we typically see an increased number of stray pets at San Diego Humane Society in the days following the celebrations,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO, San Diego Humane Society. “Pets spooked by the noise have been known to jump fences out of fear and confusion. It is so important for pet parents to plan ahead and make sure their animals are safe. In the event your pet does get lost, please file a report with us and check our website for stray animals we have taken in.”

All SDHS shelters will be closed on July 4, but open for intake and reclaims of stray animals on July 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you find a stray pet over the holiday, try to locate the owner in your area first. The pet may have tags with a phone number and you may be able to prevent a ride to the shelter. If you lose a pet, check San Diego Humane Society’s Lost & Found Pets page. If you need to report an animal emergency during after hours, contact your local law enforcement. More information is available at

San Diego Humane Society will be operating limited services on Monday, July 5 to take in stray animals and help owners who are reclaiming their lost pets. Adoptions and all other services will be closed on Monday, July 5. 

. Serving San Diego County since 1880, San Diego Humane Society has campuses located in Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego. For more information; please visit

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