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Pet owners should prep for July 4 fireworks, says Pima Animal Care Center

The annual celebration of the United State’s independence is known for its fireworks shows, but these colorful displays can be quite hard on our furry friends. The July 4th holiday usually means a booming business in runaway animals at the Pima Animal Care Center, officials said.

Tucsonans should take measures to protect their pets as this year’s festivities approach, such as securing doors and windows and ensuring animals have microchips to make them easier to return should they escape, officials said.

“July 4 falls on a Monday this year, likely meaning three or even four nights of loud, celebratory fireworks,” the county agency said in a news release. The holiday often sees an annual high number of runaway animals, as dogs try to flee fireworks — including those set off in neighborhoods in violation of local laws.

PACC is providing residents with tips to help find lost animals, and preventative measures so they won't escape in the first place. One way to keep pets safe is to microchip them before the holiday and update contact information on existing chips, the release said.

Another resource is the national database, Petco Lost Love, which utilizes pet photos to bring animals back home using facial ID. “Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are immediately scanned to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community,” the release said.

Lost dogs are found within a mile of their homes 63 percent of the time, Pima County’s website said.

Owners should also ensure collars fit correctly and have contact information in addition to animals being in a home with secure windows and doors, the care center’s message said.

For the more adventurous creatures, remember to “remove any items that your pet may use to climb over the fence,” officials said.

Reports of both missing and found pets can be submitted online via PACC's website, which includes links to other resources for reuniting lost animals with their owners.

“Remember, enacting all – or even one – of these measures will help keep pets safe and prevent the heartbreaking process of losing a beloved member of the family,” PACC representatives said.

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