Microchip or adopt a pet for free at county shelters ahead of anticipated July 4th influx

Shelters often see an influx of stray animals over the Fourth of July holiday due to fireworks that can cause some pets to run away

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Already overcrowded San Diego County animal shelters are bracing for the annual wave of stray pets over the Fourth of July holiday and are trying to clear space before the rush.

The dire situation facing animal shelters could be a plus for San Diegans who feel ready and able to adopt a pet. The San Diego County Animal Services Department is waiving adoption and microchipping fees for the weeks leading up to the Independence Day holiday and through July 7.

Fee waivers apply to the county's hundreds of animals, from cats and dogs to bunnies, tortoises, guinea pigs and more. See all pets looking for a loving home here. See the animals in person from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at the Bonita (5821 Sweetwater Rd) shelter or the Carlsbad shelter (2481 Palomar Airport Rd.)

"Due to the popularity of this adoption special, Animal Services staff recommend picking out a second and third choice too, just in case your first choice is already adopted," the county said.

Shelters often see an influx of stray animals over the Fourth of July holiday due to fireworks that can cause some pets to run away.

The Animal Services department encourages existing pet owners to take advantage of their free microchipping services ahead of the holiday.

"If you live in the County service area, microchips are also available to help reunite lost pets because no one should have their family broken up, even temporarily due to startling noises," the county said.

Animal Services also shared the following tips for pet owners over the Fourth of July holiday:

  • Make sure pets are wearing their collars with ID info attached. Even better, make sure they are microchipped, which ensures a faster reunification, according to the county.
  • Bring pets inside a quiet, secure room. White noise or sleep machines, even televisions or radios can be a helpful distraction to noise outside."
  • Stay home with pets that are particularly distressed or make sure they are with someone that will help them feel safe
  • Try anxiety-relief medication for the most vulnerable pets

The county added that if you miss out on this month's special, fees are always waived for senior pets and pets that have been on the adoption list for 30 days or more. They are also waived for senior adopters.

Microchip or adopt a pet without fees at San Diego County shelters

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