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King County Executive News

King County Executive News
execdow
July 1, 2011

Protect your pet this Independence Day weekend

Regional Animal Services shelter prepares for influx of stray cats and dogs who have been scared by Fourth of July fireworks

The Fourth of July is almost here, and Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) is urging residents to think about their pets this holiday weekend. Every year around Independence Day, area animal shelters are packed with pets that ran away after being scared by fireworks. Fortunately, there are steps every owner can take to reduce the risk of their pet running away, and increase the likelihood of being reunited if their pet does get lost.

  • Keep your pet secured indoors in the quietest room of your house 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 the 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 becomes lost, check in person at all local shelters, and check back often. It may take some time before spooked pets are brought to shelters.

To assist owners who may lose their pets over the holiday, RASKC has joined with a national non-profit organization. Over the last several weeks, Missing Pet Partnership (MPP) has helped train new "Shelter Pet Detectives" at RASKC.

From Tuesday, July 5, through Thursday, July 7, those volunteers will be deployed at the animal shelter, 21615 64th Ave. S. in Kent, to help residents looking for their missing pets. Their booth will be open from noon to 6 p.m. all three days. MPP and RASKC volunteers will assist those who don't find their pet at the shelter by providing advice on effectively generating tips from people who may have seen their pet. For more information on Shelter Pet Detectives, visit the Missing Pet Partnership website or contact sarah.luthens@kingcounty.gov.

In addition to the Shelter Pet Detectives assisting residents, RASKC will also keep its "Lost Pet Hotline" up to date. People who are looking for a missing pet can call 206-296-PETS (7387) and press "3" for a list of strays currently in the shelter. For pets registered with the City of Seattle, call 206-386-PETS (7387).