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Cherokee County Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia said keeping pets indoors and making sure they are microchipped with up-to-date information can help keep them safe this holiday weekend. Fireworks and other celebrations can frighten pets, with July 4 being one of the most common days for pets to escape and become lost.

While the July 4 holiday can be an exciting time of celebration for people across the country, fireworks and other celebratory events can create confusion and fear for pets.

To help Cherokee County residents keep their furry friends safe, Cherokee County Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia had some valuable advice on how to protect pets over the holiday weekend.

Every year, Garcia said July 4 and New Year’s Eve are the two holidays that lead to the most reports of missing pets.

“Lost pet reports and people missing their animals are definitely the first thing we hear after July 4,” Garcia said. “July 4 is usually worse than New Year’s Eve, due to both the fireworks and people cooking out, going in and out of the house and having others over to celebrate.”

Two of the most effective methods for keeping pets safe are having them microchipped and keeping them indoors during any July 4 celebrations, Garcia said.

Unlike a collar, which can fall off if a pet gets out and squeezes through a tight space, a microchip will not get lost, Garcia said. When a pet with a microchip is located by animal control officials or brought to the shelter, the chip can be scanned and provide county officials with contact information for the pet’s owner, which can help reunite pets and owners that much faster.

Pet owners should also keep their animals indoors and in a secure place when having family and friends over or shooting off fireworks. A room away from outside windows, among other options, can be a safe place.

“Even if you hate putting your pets in a crate or cage, sometimes a crate is the safest place for them to be,” Garcia said.

Should pets still get out and go missing during the holiday, acting quickly can help make a major difference in finding them and getting them home.

“If your pets do go missing, contact us here at the animal shelter as soon as possible, so we can have a lost pet report on file,” Garcia said. “By calling us, we can provide additional resources as well.”

To contact the Cherokee County Animal Shelter, call 770-345-7270.

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