Food. Fireworks. Fun. That’s the scenario for thousands of Angelenos that celebrate US Independence Day on July 4th, one of the year’s liveliest holidays.
Unfortunately, for pets that get frightened during the festivities, it can be anything but a celebration. Driven by a fearful reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds, dogs and cats that flee from their homes often end up in municipal animal shelters.
“July 4th weekend is the busiest shelter intake time of the year. So, while many of us are celebrating a holiday, the shelters will be flooded with pets, many of which will never find their way home,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society.
In Los Angeles, daily dog and cat admissions at the six LA Animal Services shelters increased by 43.5% from July 2 to July 6 in comparison to the average daily intake in 2014.
To maximize lifesaving over the July 4th weekend, Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills is hosting a non-stop #Freedom100 pet adoption marathon. The center’s doors will open at noon on July 3 and stay open 24/7 until 8 p.m. on July 5, with $10 adoption fees to the first 100 adopters.
There are hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens to choose from, all of which originate from LA Animal Services shelters.
“There is no better time than now if you’re in the market to adopt a dog or cat. You’ll be saving two lives with every adoption, the one you take home and the one that now has space at the shelter,” Gregory said.
Each pet at the Best Friends center, located at 15321 Brand Boulevard in Mission Hills, is spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ready to go home immediately. Adoptable pets can be previewed at http://la.bestfriends.org.
At the NKLA Pet Adoption Center located at 1845 Pontius Avenue in West Los Angeles, adoption fees start at just $10 for cats and $25 for dogs for the first 100 adopters of select pets during regular business hours of noon to 8 p.m. from July 3 to July 5. Adoptable pets can be previewed at www.nkla.org/adopt.
The #Freedom100 marathon is part of Best Friends’ national “Celebrate Freedom” adoption campaign throughout the month of July offering discounted adoptions at its Los Angeles and Salt Lake City centers, as well as through a network of participating No More Homeless Pets Network Partners.
“Adoption isn’t just the most humane option when adding a four-legged member to your family, it’s convenient and cost-effective, too,” Gregory said. “Our hope is that animal lovers in Los Angeles and across the country will band together to declare this 4th as Inde-Pet-Dence Day for shelter pets in their community.”
Best Friends Animal Society also encourages current pet owners to make the holiday as safe as possible for their dogs and cats by offering the following tips:
Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely. Secure dogs in a room and play music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.
Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including your own backyard, as some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk to be burned or blinded in the process.
Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags.
For the ultimate identification protection, all pets should be microchipped so that they can scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary office.
If your pet does go missing over the holiday, check with local animal shelters immediately. Go to the shelter in person to identify your pet, rather than calling or emailing the shelter, as staff may not be able to respond in a timely enough fashion to ensure your pet’s safety.