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Holiday Means Busy Week for Animal Shelter

Fourth of July fireworks have spooked pets, leading to increase in stray and lost animals this week.

Celebrating the 4th of July can be a safe, enjoyable experience.

But fireworks make a racket. While the holiday is fun for humans, , Sacramento County Animal Shelter officials said.

KCRA reported a police dog went missing in Roseville on Thursday after escaping from a backyard during the holiday. The dog was eventually found, but shelter officials have continued seeing an increase in missing dogs and cats before and after the holiday when people set off fireworks.  

"When families leave for the festivities on the 4th, they either leave their pets in the backyard or they may leave them inside with a doggie door," said Tara Diller, administrative services officer with the county's animal care division. "Many times (the animals) just run. They're not sure what they're running from, but they do run."  

Diller said the Fourth is the busiest time of the year for the shelter, located at 3839 Bradshaw Road in the Rosemont area. This year, officials were hopeful the number of missing pets would decline after 38 percent fewer dogs and 17 fewer cats were reported from last year.

But on Thursday, the numbers of runaways spiked again as the shelter recovered 96 animals.

Diller said owners should make sure pets have ID tags and microchips with current information and animals should be kept inside for the remainder of the week. For this week only, the shelter is offering free microchipping and ID tags to help owners keep track of their pets.

Owners can visit the shelter's web site for lost and found pets to locate their animals and can also report their runaways at petharbor.com, a web site that helps search for missing dogs and cats.

Diller also offered hope for pet owners who might dispair after losing their furry friends, urging them to post signs around their neighborhood to give other residents a heads-up about missing animals.

"The most important thing is not to give up hope," Diller said.  "A lot of times people are holding onto pets and they end up turning them in."

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