Fourth of July top day for lost pets; here's what to do if they go missing

Tips from experts to keep your pets safe and how to find them

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ROANOKE – This is one of the busiest weeks for local animal shelters as they are flooded with calls from pet owners looking for their lost dog or cat.

That's because statistically, more pets go missing during the Fourth of July than any other week of the year due to fireworks. The loud noises can be stressful for pets, especially dogs.

Mike Warner, executive director of the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection said this week the center has received 17 lost dogs. Warner said the staff has been able to reunite 11 of back with their owners. Thursday morning they were flooded with calls from more people looking for their pets.

“The ratio is pretty good, but we are expecting more to come in this week,” Warner said, noting with the July 4th holiday falling in the middle of the week fireworks can be expected all week long. He said it’s a good idea for pet owners to keep their animals indoors at night to prevent them from being startled by fireworks and running away.

“I walked a lady through and she started crying because we did have her dog here that she had been missing for a day and a half, and it was here. She said 'I just can't thank you enough for reuniting us,'” Warner said.

Steps to take if your pet goes missing:

1.    Warner said to contact your local animal shelter first. Like RCACP, he said many shelters have online pages for missing pets.
2.    Check nearby streets surrounding your home.
3.    Ask neighbors if they have seen your pet and find out when they were last seen.
4.    Post pictures and information of your missing pet on social media and online forums.

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