Influx of missing pets reported following fireworks on the 4th of July

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The 4th of July is behind us and the holiday brought a lot of people together to celebrate with fireworks. However, those loud noises can also have a negative effect on our furry friends, causing many pets to run off and get lost.

“We’ve been receiving numerous calls, people saying I’ve lost my dog can you help me get him or her back," says Trudy Enders, the Executive Director for the Humane Society of West Michigan.

Shelters like the Humane Society say an increase in lost pets happens every year during the 4th of July holiday. In fact, July 5th is the biggest day for animal shelters in the U.S.

“The explosions and the sound, animals will keep running from them and perhaps running even a longer distance from homemaking it harder to get them back," says Enders.

When pets do run off groups like ‘Lost Paws’ can help find them. They say, their animal search and rescue efforts have been in high demand this week.

“A lot of Facebook messages, phone calls and emails. Sometimes it’s a new pet and it’s the first time they’ve had fireworks and they didn’t know their dog or cat might panic,” says ‘Lost Paws’ C.E.O. Lyndsey Sturgeon.

And there’s a huge difference with how you search for a dog versus a cat.

“With dogs you really want to focus on social media, posters and fliers all of that. When cats go missing they don’t tend to go missing very far and people don’t see them. So you really want to focus on the immediate area," says Sturgeon.

When dealing with fireworks animals need to be secured. A safe room with white noise like a fan can help keep them calm or medication from a vet can also be an option. Experts also say to make sure animals are microchipped and have I.D. tags.

If you’ve lost a dog or cat call the local shelters and go by and see if your lost animal is there.

If you need to contact ‘Lost Paws’ for help locating a missing pet, you can contact them on their Facebook page, or call 616-745-2478.

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