• Admin

4th of July Pet Safety


4th of July weekend will be here next week. Take these steps to assure your pets will be safe.


Last year one of our member’s pets was hit and killed by a car after running scared from the fireworks. Sadly, this happens every year. To avoid tragedies like this and to prepare if your pet gets lost, here is a list of important tips.


ID & MICROCHIPS


1. Collars & ID Tags: Be sure your pet is wearing their collar and ID tags. Be sure you can read their tags and that they include an updated phone number.

2. License Tags: Be sure your pet has their license tag on. License tags serve as ID and are linked to the owner in the event ID tags are not present.

3. Use Sharpies if no tags: If you do not have ID tags, you can write your number on your dog’s collar as a last resort – it’s better than not having any way to contact you.

4. Microchips – without updated information, you may not get your pet back if lost

a. If your pet is chipped, be sure that information is updated.

b. Get your pet’s chip number. You can find it in your sale/adoption paperwork or vet records.

c. Check the number on the AAHA lookup tool, www.petmicrochiplookup.org or ask us. We will help.

d. Contact the company where your chip should be registered or go online and confirm all information is accurate. Fill in all fields. Especially secondary or emergency contact.

e. Add your microchip registration company along with chip number to your phone contacts so you can access the information quickly if your pet is lost.

5. Take updated pictures of your pet. Take them from all sides. Take a picture of your pet with you – but not a selfie. Selfies mirror-reversed pictures and can make markings appear on the opposite side they actually are.

6. Make a Pet Contact in Your Phone: Make a contact under your pet’s name in your phone. Add the pet’s vet, microchip number, a good picture, microchip company (if chipped) and local shelter number, also the local ER vets. This way you will have everything at your fingertips if your pet gets lost. You can add Lost Pet Services number: 941-900-8303.


SAFETY PLAN


  1. Fences and Gates: Check all fences and gates to be sure your pet cannot escape if frightened by fireworks. Check the entire perimeter for holes and gaps. Remove things next to fences that dogs can jump on to use as a means to escape over the fence.

  2. Signs to Alert Guests: Add signs to your gates – PLEASE CLOSE GATE – PET INSIDE. This is something you should always have on your gates, but especially if you are having holiday picnics or parties. A similar sign can be put on the front door alerting guests there are pets inside and to be aware. CAUTION – PETS INSIDE or whatever words work for you.

  3. Safe Quiet Spaces: Prepare a quiet, safe place for your pet to stay when fireworks are going off. A walk-in closet, bathroom, or small space. Play soft classical music or reggae music. Both are proven sounds that calm frightened dogs.

  4. Exercise Early: Let your dog play earlier in the day to tire them out. Take a walk before dark.

  5. Do Not Leave Unattended Outside: Never leave a dog outside alone when there are fireworks. Expect fireworks every day over the entire holiday weekend.

  6. Do Not Leave on Screened Porches/Lanais: Many dogs have broken through screens to escape when they are frightened by fireworks. Some may even break through glass windows – that’s how scared they become.

  7. Do Not Rely Solely on Calming Treats: Many people put too much faith in calming treats and CBD products. These do not work for all dogs so you must take all other steps to keep your pets safe. Same for thunder shirts. Although they may help, it is a pet owner’s responsibility to plan for worst-case scenarios. Over the years, we have seen pets lost while wearing thunder shirts.


IF YOUR PET IS LOST

  1. Contact Chip Company: Immediately contact your microchip company – you should put the chip number and registry company’s number in your contacts – do it now.

  2. Contact Animal Services: Put the number for your county’s Animal Services in your phone as a contact – do it now. Be aware that Manatee County Animal Services closes after 5 p.m. except on Wednesday. Manatee County will be closed for the holiday. Sarasota County calls should be made through Dispatch at 941-316-1201.

  3. Search the Immediate Area: Carry a leash. People will know you’ve lost your dog and try to help or let you know if they’ve seen it. It’s a great tool to alert people of a lost dog.

  4. Give People Your Contact Number: If you talk with people, give your number. Don’t just say you’ve lost your dog. Remember, they cannot reach you without it if they find your pet.

  5. POST WITH LOST PET SERVICES ON FACEBOOK ASAP: Lost and Found Pets 941 (Lost Pet Services) facebook group has over 36,600 local members and is the only lost pet group that is a nonprofit organization. Make a post. It is extremely important to take a minute to do it correctly and add all needed information. Add the following information – otherwise we cannot help. We do not want to waste time when your pet is in danger.

  • Location Last Seen – (nearest cross streets or landmark)

  • Contact Information – (your name and phone number)

  • Description of Pet – (breed, was it wearing a collar/tags/microchipped, any distinguishing features)

  • One Good Picture – (no videos, no pictures with other pets or people in them, no pictures with filters or words on them – you want your pet to be identified)

IF YOU FIND A PET


  1. Never Assume a Pet is Dumped. Pets need help finding their way home. They don’t need a new home. Especially if it is storming or the dog has been running a while, it could have stickers, mud, matted hair, etc. It doesn’t take long for a well-groomed pet to look bad when lost.

  2. Contact Animal Services: Put the number for your Animal Services in your phone as a contact – do it now. Be aware that Manatee County Animal Services closes after 5 p.m. except on Wednesday. Manatee County will be closed for the holiday. Sarasota County calls should be made through Dispatch at 941-316-1201. Sarasota County will send an officer to you to scan the pet and to pick it up if you cannot hold onto it.

  3. Walk The Area: Walk around the area where the pet is found. Someone may be calling out or searching. Someone may recognize the pet. Just be sure the pet is properly contained on a leash or in the car as the fireworks may cause it to try to bolt again.

  4. Give People Your Contact Number: If you talk with people, give your number. Don’t just say you’ve found a dog. Remember, they cannot reach you without your contact info.

  5. Get the Pet Scanned for a Microchip: Any ER vet in your area will scan for free. We ask that you get the chip number. Many times we are told chips are unregistered but we are still able to locate the owner with outdated information or backtrack the chips. We are a nonprofit organization – not just a Facebook group.

  6. POST WITH LOST PET SERVICES ON FACEBOOK ASAP: Lost and Found Pets 941 (Lost Pet Services) facebook group has over 36,600 local members and is the only lost pet group that is a nonprofit organization. Make a post. It is extremely important to take a minute to add all important information. Add the following information – otherwise we cannot help. We do not want to waste time when an owner is frantically searching for their pet.

  • Location Found – (nearest cross streets or landmark)

  • Contact Information – (your name and phone number)

  • Description of Pet – (breed, was it wearing a collar/tags/microchipped, any distinguishing features)

  • One Good Picture – (no videos, no pictures with other pets or people in them, no pictures with filters or words on them – you want your pet to be identified)

We expect this July 4th holiday to be extremely busy with fireworks and people on the roads. These two things combined make it extremely dangerous for our pets. Please do whatever you can now to prepare and keep your pets safe.