With Fourth of July fireworks displays around the corner, Woods Humane Society and SLO County Animal Services Division (ASD) are asking the community to help keep pets out of shelters and in their homes this holiday.
“Each year, our shelter fills up with pets who become lost after being frightened by fireworks,” says Eric Anderson, DVM, Animal Services Manager for the SLO County ASD. “Many of these pets have homes, but without ID tags or microchips we are unable to reunite them immediately with their owners. This influx of animals puts a strain on the shelter and on the pets, and also limits the kennel space available for truly homeless animals.”
To avoid this situation, Woods Humane Society CEO Emily L’Heureux says the community can make a big difference by trying to reunite any found pets with their owners before bringing them to ASD—an action that can save space in the shelter while also improving chances of reunification.
According to Human Animal Support Services (HASS), the vast majority of lost pets are picked up less than a mile from their homes. When kept in the neighborhood where they are found, these animals have a 70% reclaim rate. However, when they are brought to a shelter, the typical reclaim rate is only 17%.
“With space so tight in shelters across the region, we hope the SLO County community will help us keep owned pets home this Independence Day by protecting their pets from getting loose, chipping and identifying their pets, and taking steps to reunify any found pets with their owners before bringing them to the county shelter,” L’Heureux says.
Woods Humane Society and Animal Services recommend following these steps, seen in their new infographic, if you find a lost pet this Fourth of July, or at any time of year:
To avoid losing your pet due to fireworks, follow Woods’ list of Pet Fireworks Safety Tips.
Woods offers microchips for $20 by appointment; please call Woods SLO at (805) 543-9316 or Woods North County at (805) 466-5403. Please note: Woods Humane Society is closed on the Fourth of July. Microchipping is available at Animal Services for $25 on Wednesdays from 5:00-7:00pm and Saturdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
For more information about what to do if you find or lose a pet, visit Woods’ Lost Pet Help resource page or Animal Services’ Report a Lost Pet page. For more information about Woods, visit www.WoodsHumane.org 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. For more information about Animal Services, visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Health-Agency/Animal-Services or call (805) 781-4400. Animal Services has moved to their new location at 865 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405.