San Diego

Free Microchips Offered to Track Dogs Frightened by 4th of July Fireworks

Free microchips help keep track of beloved pooches that may be spooked by Fourth of July fireworks

While dogs may enjoy the Fourth of July barbecue, the high-pitched whistles, booms and squeals of fireworks could send Fido running for the hills, warned county officials.

“Dogs can panic and they’ll do anything to escape from the noise,” said County Department of Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa, in a statement. “That includes digging under, climbing over or even breaking through gates, screens, fences, windows and doors.”

In an effort to prevent pet owners and their dogs from separating after the exciting holiday, County Animal Services is offering free microchips.

In 2016, nearly 60 dogs ended up at the county shelters on the Fourth of July and a few days later. The year before, there were 67 shaken dogs, said county officials.

In their wild flight away from the fireworks, dogs can get hit by cars, hurt by other animals or become utterly lost, said county officials.

But dogs that were licensed and microchipped are quickly reunited with their owners.

Dog owners can get their dogs microchipped for free from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at any one of the three County Shelters, on Tuesday, June 27 through Sunday, July 2, said county officials.

Normally, it costs $10 to get a pet microchipped, according to the county.

County Animal Services offered the following tips to keep Fido safe on the Fourth of July:

  • Don't take your pet to firework displays. Make sure they are safely locked indoors, in a sheltered, quiet space
  • Remove dangerous objects your pet may chew, as some dogs can become destructive when frightened
  • Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to help keep your pet company while you're away
  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard
  • It is not safe to leave pets in a hot car for even a few minutes
  • If walking your dog near a fireworks display, doublecheck that the leash is secure
If anyone discovers a lost pet after the fireworks, call County Animal Services at (619)236-2341.
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