EL PASO, Texas - Losing a pet is no way to celebrate a holiday. Animal Services of El Paso is urging pet owners to bring their pets indoors this Fourth of July holiday.
According to the City of El Paso, each year on July 5th Animal Services receives a large number of calls regarding pets who escaped from their families in a desperate attempt to flee after being frightened by fireworks.
"With Ascarate really close and their fireworks show, it causes a lot of pets to get spooked and try to flee to safety and because of that a lot of pets end up going missing or lost and wind up at the shelter," said Michele Anderson, Public Affairs Coordinator for El Paso Animal Services.
Animal Service along with volunteers walked around the Mission Valley neighborhood Tuesday morning to leave flyers on neighbors doors.
"We're leaving these little flyers out on doors today reminding the community to keep their pets inside and if they do ever get lost to make sure that they have a collar and tag," said Anderson.
Last July, nearly 3,000 animals entered the El Paso Animal Services Center, many of them finding their way to the shelter due to the stress of July Fourth festivities.
"We don't want pets to come to the shelter. They're best kept at home because they're safer at home and no pet should have to come to the shelter and that's what these efforts are for," said Anderson.
El Paso Animal Services is offering some tips to pet owners to help keep pets safe and calm:
* Resist the urge to take your pets to fireworks displays on July Fourth events.
* Keep pets indoors and close the curtains.
* Take pets outside on a leash to "do their business" prior to the evening hours when fireworks are typically lit.
* Turn on the radio or television to help mask outdoor noises.
* Microchip your pet, or make sure your pet's microchip is up-to-date with the correct contact information.
* Keep a well-fitting (not tight) collar and identification tag on your pet.
* If your pet is crate-trained, place them in their crate.
* If you have a new pet and you do not know how it will react to loud noises, stay with your pet.
The Animal Services Center will be waiving all reclaiming fees for dog owners if they happen to lose their pet in the month of July. Animal Services is located at 5001 Fred Wilson and will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. The Center will resume normal operating hours, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Friday, July 5.
If you happen to find a lost pet during the holiday, you can always try to locate the owner by having the animal scanned at any El Paso Fire Station, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To view a list of all fire station locations, Click Here.