With the Fourth of July holiday around the corner, Woods Humane Society is reminding the community to prepare now to protect their pets from the fireworks.
“While fireworks are a fun display for humans, they’re often dreadful for pets,” says Woods Humane Society CEO Neil Trent, adding that some animal control officials report seeing as much as a 30% increase in lost pets over the holiday. “Cats and dogs have a much stronger sense of hearing than people do, so the explosive noises sound even louder to them, causing many pets to run away out of fear or to suffer from intense anxiety.”
In order to help local pet owners proactively protect their pets in advance of the holiday, Woods has put together the below list of Pet Fireworks Safety Tips, the first of which is to make sure pets have a collar with an ID tag on it as well as a microchip with up-to-date registration information.
Microchips are the size of a grain of rice and are implanted just under the skin of dogs and cats. Each microchip contains a unique code that can be easily scanned by a vet or an animal shelter employee and matched against an identification database online. “If a lost pet doesn’t have an identification tag, the microchip helps us to quickly reunite it with its family. At just $20, microchips are among the cheapest, easiest and best ways to safeguard our pets against the risk of homelessness and suffering as a stray,” says Trent.
Pet owners can make an appointment to get their dogs or cats microchipped at both of Woods’ locations by calling Woods SLO at (805) 543-9316 or Woods North County at (805) 466-5403, or they can find out more information at www.WoodsHumane.org/microchip.
For more information about what to do if you find or lose a pet, visit www.WoodsHumane.org/Lost-Pet-Help.
Woods Humane Society is seeing increasing numbers of “Pointy-Eared Pups" (German shepherd and Siberian husky-type mixes) in its shelter.
These breed types—known for their thick coats, intelligence, alertness, and high energy levels—have gone up from about 21.7% of the dogs cared for in 2019, to 26.7% in 2021, and their length of stay within the shelter is also increasing. Similar trends are being noted in shelters across the nation.
“Ten years ago, it was very common to see a large amount of adoptable chihuahuas and pit bull mixes at any given time in most shelters. Today, shelters are seeing high numbers of stray or returned Siberian husky and German shepherd mixes,” says Woods Community Engagement Manager Robin Coleman.
One cause of this trend may be that people adopt without knowing about the proper care these breed types tend to require. “Many people like the magical look and idea of these dogs, but we want to also help prepare them for providing the daily exercise, mental enrichment, training, and grooming that will help these dogs thrive in their new homes,” says Coleman.
Without a steady routine to fulfill their drive and expend energy, these breed types can be known to be vocal, jump fences, or dig out of unsecured yards. “But,” Coleman says, “with the right elements in place, they make amazingly loving, loyal, smart and gentle companions. Once they bond, they really bond.”
Currently, Woods has a large number of these types of dogs available for adoption, making up nearly 40% of its currently available dog population.
To help you decide if these breed types are right for you and to help owners keep these amazing dogs feeling their best—even if they don’t have a sled to pull or acres to patrol--here are 6 "Pointy-Eared Pointers" from the Woods staff.
May is National Chip Your Pet Month and Responsible Animal Guardian Month. Woods Humane Society is encouraging the public to protect their pets, especially in advance of summer fireworks, by offering free Microchip Clinics at each of its locations throughout May.
Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are implanted just under the skin of dogs and cats. Each chip contains a unique code that can be easily scanned by a vet or an animal shelter employee and matched against an identification database online.
“Microchips allow lost pets to be quickly reunited with their owners rather than experiencing the stress and confusion of being in a shelter—or worse,” says Woods CEO Neil Trent.
The American Humane Association estimates that more than 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year, while one-third of all pets will become lost at some point in their lives. The organization further states that only 15 percent of lost dogs and 2 percent of lost cats in shelters without ID tags or microchips are reunited with their owners.
“Many of these strays could be returned safely home if they could only be identified,” Trent says. “At just $20, microchips are among the cheapest, easiest and best ways to safeguard our pets against the risk of homelessness and suffering as a stray.”
Local pet owners can make an appointment to get free microchips on Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m. at its San Luis Obispo location, and on Fridays from 2-4 p.m. at its Atascadero location, throughout May. Appointments can be made at www.SpaySLOCounty.com.
For more information, visit WoodsHumaneSociety.org/adoptions/microchip/ or call (805) 543-9316. Woods Humane Society is located at 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 and at 2300 Ramona Rd., Atascadero, CA 93422.