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How to keep pets safe during Independence Day fireworks

The day after Independence Day is a busy day for animal shelters nationwide
Posted at 4:13 PM, Jul 02, 2024

The day after Independence Day is a busy day for animal shelters nationwide while they work to reunite runaway pets frightened by fireworks.

Loud noises from fireworks celebrations provokes anxiety and stress in pets, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions. Even if your pet doesn’t mind the noise of the celebration, there is a chance they could become startled or even try to chase after a stray firecracker.

Laramie Smovir, Director of Operations for the Great Falls Animal Shelter, explained, “The fourth of July is one of the busiest days for the animal shelter pretty much every year, and several days leading up to it, actually, because people start shooting off fireworks usually around the second or third. You're going to see animals will start getting more agitated as they're starting to hear the loud booms and the bangs, all of that sort of stuff. So it gets pretty busy. Usually the animals that come in get reclaimed by their owners fairly quickly, but there's lots of things that owners can do to prevent their animals from coming in in the first place.”

If keeping your pet inside during the celebration, consider keeping them in a room away from windows, and put on some white noise like a radio or TV to drown out the noise and lessen their anxiety.

Smovir explains, “If your animal is fine with the bangs in the booms and they're going to do better with you out in the park, absolutely. Take them with you, but make sure that you've taken those precautions so that they're going to be safe, that they're wearing a collar, that they're on a leash, that they're microchipped just in case something were to happen.”

If you haven’t microchipped your pet, make sure you have some information either on their collar tags, or take a sharpie and write your information on the inside of their collar. If your animal is already microchipped, make sure the contact information is up to date.

Even though the shelter will be closed during the holiday, if you do find a runaway pet, the shelter has a microchip scanning station outside of their building for members of the community to help reunite pets with their owners. The scanning station can be found at 1010 25th Avenue NE in Great Falls.