Keep pets safe on July 4th


Fireworks are fun, unless you’re a dog or cat.  Not all pets are afraid of the whistles, pops and explosions that accompany Fourth of July celebrations, but many are terrified.  To your cat or dog’s super-sensitive ears, the blasts and roars of fireworks can make them feel like they are under attack.  They react by retreating, hiding, and worse: running away.

“Nationally, more dogs run away on the Fourth of July than on any other day,” according to Beth Ward, Chief Operating Officer, Humane Society Silicon Valley.  “The added noise and commotion that comes with fireworks, parties and parades tend to stress pets to the point where many run away to escape.”  75% of dogs and almost 97% of cats in Silicon Valley are never reunited with their families!

Every year, hundreds of lost and frightened pets end up at one of the area’s animal shelters. The City of San Jose’s Animal Care Center Director, Jon Cicirelli said, “Our stray dog intake always doubles or triples starting the day after the fireworks begin.  It is very hard for our staff to find space to put so many new incoming dogs, much less to try to care for them all at once.”

It is also difficult and sometimes confusing for owners to re-unite with their beloved pet in a system that includes multiple municipal, county and private agencies.

SOLUTION:  WeCARE, the alliance of all six of Silicon Valley’s animal shelters, is launching its new website at to make it fast and easy for owners and pets to be reunited.  It’s really simple.  Go to the site, find the city where you lost your pet, click to go directly to the right shelter’s up to the minute listing of lost and found pets.  “The key in these situations is to act quickly,” said Ward.  “Get in touch with the right shelter immediately.  Contact more than one shelter to be extra-thorough.  WeCARE’s new online site is the best and easiest first step to getting your pet back into your arms.”


Get proper identification – Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags that have current contact information.

Leave pets at home – Public fireworks, parades and other celebrations are not ideal for pets.  Leave your pet indoors in a sheltered, quiet area.

Don’t leave outside pets unattended – Never leave pets outside during the fireworks, even in a fenced in yard.  With the noise, even pets that normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and quickly get lost, risking injury or death.

Don’t leave your pet in the car – even moderate heat can cause your pet to suffer serious health effects, including death, in a short amount to time.  Partially-openend windows do not provide sufficient air.

IF YOU FIND A LOST ANIMAL, take her to the local animal shelter right away.  That’s where they have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.

About WeCARE

WeCARE (Community Alliance to Reduce Euthanasia) includes six South Bay animal shelters with one goal: find as many homes as possible for the homeless animals in Silicon Valley. The alliance includes: Humane Society Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County Animal Shelter, City of Palo Alto Animal Services, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, City of San Jose Animal Care and Services and Town Cats.


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