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News Release

June 28, 2006

CONTACT:Linda Wieczorek
Moreno Valley Animal Services

Awareness for 4th of July

It's that time of year again, one of the more awe-inspiring holidays that we all look forward to. Your pet, however, doesn't feel the same way. Did you know that July 4th and the days following are THE busiest time of year for shelters that take in stray pets? The reason is that once the fireworks go off, your pet takes off. More animals go lost during this time of year than any other. Pets will do anything they can to get away from those frightful noises! Please keep your pets in mind this 4th of July holiday.

  • Make sure your pet has identification. Ideally, a name tag, a license and a microchip are best. Combining all three ensures your pet will not get away from you for long. Contact your local shelter for licensing information. Microchips and name tags can be purchased at the Moreno Valley Shelter.

  • Keep your pet indoors this holiday, especially if you are not home. Outside, your pet will conjure 'super' strength to run from the noises, so a dog or cat that doesn't usually leave the yard, or is surrounded by a fence, will find a way out. It is always a good idea to inspect your yard regularly for worn or damaged fencing and evidence of digging.

  • Inside, turn on other noises, such as a radio or television, to drown out the scary 'booms' and 'cracking.

  • If your pet does become lost, make sure you check all your local shelters daily. Scared pets can travel a long distance and will often hide, so it may be several days before they are reported. Be sure to have your vaccination records and a picture of your pet to aid you in your search. The internet is a wonderful resource to search for missing pets. Visit for more information on finding and reporting lost pets.

Let’s prevent a repeat of last year’s tragic 4th of July holiday for our pets.

  • Prior to the 4th of July holiday, an average of 10 –14 families per day came into the shelter looking for their lost pets.

  • The day after the 4th of July holiday, 61 families came in on the first day looking for their lost pets.

  • The week following the 4th of July holiday 200 families had come into the shelter looking for their lost pets.

  • Prior to the 4th of July holiday, an average of four pets were found deceased on Moreno Valley streets each day.

  • The day after the 4th of July holiday, 15 pets were found deceased on the roadways.

  • The week following the 4th of July holiday, a total of 41 pets were found to have died as a result of the stress and panic caused by both neighborhood fireworks and the large firework displays.

Here is what the American Humane Association recommends to pet owners.

July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters as companion animals that fled in fright the night before are found miles from their homes disoriented and exhausted. Anxious families often find themselves searching the streets and shelters looking for a treasured family member whose fear drove him to jump a high fence or break his leash or chain. If your pet is upset by thunder, a door slamming, or other loud noises, 4th of July fireworks will be utterly terrifying, so take these precautions:

  • Your pets won’t enjoy the fireworks display, so leave them at home! Keep them inside, shielded from loud noises.

  • If loud noises upset your pets, do not leave them alone while you’re out celebrating; make sure someone can stay with them.

  • If you think your pets should be tranquilized, consult your veterinarian well in advance.

  • Contact an animal behaviorist to work with your pets on their fears. With some positive reinforcement and behavior modification training, by next Independence Day, your pets may be better prepared for fireworks.