As 4th of July approaches, fireworks lead to an increase in missing pets

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The 4th of July falls on a Wednesday this year, and the timing has local animal shelters worried about an increase in missing pets spooked by fireworks.

The mid-week timing means fireworks celebrations are happening both the weekend before and the weekend after the holiday.

On the Peninsula, the Heritage Humane Society expects to see a rise in pets entering the shelter. It's a nationwide issue, where shelters become home to animals that have escaped or tried to run away from home due to fireworks on the days surrounding the 4th of July.

Frightened by the loud booms of fireworks, pets will try to escape, which can include digging under and jumping over fences.

The Heritage Humane Society says when pets are not aware of where the loud noises come from, their natural inclination is to run away.

They offer the following ideas to keep your pet safe:

  • Keep your pets INDOORS during fireworks, and make sure all doors/windows are shut and locked.
  • If hosting a 4th of July party, make sure pets are in a secure room so they can't slip out of the doors.
  • Turn on the TV or relaxing music to help distract your pets from the loud blasts outside.
  • Make sure your pet's Microchip and Collar ID's are up to date. This is the fastest way to reconnect you and your pet if you are separated.
  • Keep your pet distracted with an interactive toy, like a KONG toy filled with peanut butter (and frozen overnight)!
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