How to keep your pets safe and inside this Fourth of July

Bella a 5 year old golden doodle participates in the Round Rock Sertoma July Fourth Parade with Hunter Chambers, 12, Saturday, July 4, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN STATESMAN)

Bella a 5 year old golden doodle participates in the Round Rock Sertoma July Fourth Parade with Hunter Chambers, 12, Saturday, July 4, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN STATESMAN)

From the City of Austin:

The Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop, will be open this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Center will maintain regular hours of 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 5. The holiday hours on Monday, July 4 will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Every Fourth of July the Animal Center sees a spike in the number of lost pets due to runaways that are frightened by the noise from fireworks.

Because the animal shelter operates at capacity it is critical to have the pet properly tagged so the animal will not be at risk. The City is asking if a lost dog or cat is found, that the person finding the pet keep him/her safely contained, call 3-1-1 to create a Found Pet Report, and the finder keep the animal a few days before turning it in to the shelter. In addition to freeing critical space at the shelter for pets most in need, it can be easier to reunite pets and owners if pets stay in the community in which they’re found.

Additionally, pet owners should make sure that pets are properly contained on the Fourth of July. The safest way to ensure that your animal doesn’t run off is to bring the pet inside during the celebration and to not bring pets to family gatherings where they may be further stressed by an unfamiliar setting.

The Austin Animal Center offers free I.D. tags and microchips to all pet owners in Austin and Travis County to help keep pets safe and out of the animal shelter system.

If a pet goes missing, owners should visit AustinAnimalCenter.org and click the Lost & Found button. There, owners can find a step by step listing of what to do to find a lost pet.

Tips to locate a lost pet include placing flyers in neighborhoods, and posting to the Facebook group, Austin Lost and Found Pets, Nextdoor.com and Craigslist.
AAC is also offering waived fees on cat and kitten adoptions through the July 4th Holiday. All cats and kitten adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, an ID tag and microchip.

The Austin Animal Center is also asking for donations of dog chews to keep the dogs in the shelter busy and distracted during fireworks. The loud noise can cause anxiety for pets in the shelter. Dog chews can be dropped off at 7201 Levander Loop or sent in via their Amazon Wish List.

For additional information, visit the www.austinanimalcenter.org; call 3-1-1 or check Facebook for daily pet updates, facebook.com/AustinAnimalCenter.