LANSING, MI (WILX) - Pets and fireworks don't mix.
Many pets are afraid of the loud booms and will take off for cover.
The BISSELL Pet Foundation sent out a press release urging pet owners to take precautions over the holiday weekend.
They say they've heard from thousands of animal shelters that experience overcrowding after the fourth.
"This is why microchipping your pet is so important," said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. "A microchip is not a GPS, but it will surely increase your chances of reuniting with your pet. To be proactive before the Fourth of July, make sure your pet's chip is registered to you with the most up-to-date contact information."
A microchip has a unique identification number that is linked to your contact information in a large database of animal registries.
When a shelter or veterinarian scans the chip, they can locate who the animal belongs to and try to get it back to them.
Over 35% of lost pets are euthanized after failing to reunite them with their owners, according to the release.
Some ways to keep your pets safe are to keep them inside during the holiday, and to check on them often. They may require a "safe space" to get away from the activity.
If you pet has escaped your yard or confinement, check your local animal shelter right away.
Ingham County Animal Control Director, Jodi LeBombard says, ""The best thing for pet owners to do during a busy weekend like this is to KEEP THEM IDENTIFIED and keep them inside if possible!"
She said that shelters see a 30-60% increase in lost pets between July 1st through the 5th, and due to the holiday falling on Thursday this year, her staff is anticipating the increase of stray dogs to last through July 8th.
Besides micro-chipping, she suggests personalized ID tags on your pets and up to date dog licenses on their collars.
LeBombard also suggests playing a radio or television to block out the sounds of fireworks for your pet, or give them a chew toy or bone to distract them.
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