HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — More pets goes missing on the Fourth of July, and the day after, than any other days of the year.
July 5, and the days following it, are the busiest day of the year for shelters across the nation.
Fireworks are terrifying for some dogs and cats, which is why July 5 is the busiest day for shelters because runaways and strays come flooding in.
"We’re going to still really feel the effects not only today but well into next week as well," said Susana Arneson, director of development for Humane Society of the Nature Coast.
Arneson says small shelters, like theirs, go in and pull dogs and cats from the larger county shelters before July 4 to make room for the ones coming in. That way the shelters don’t have to euthanize any animals for space.
"We help them out quite a bit. We’re able to pull them before they get euthanized," said Georgi Waite, shelter manager of the Humane Society.
The Humane Society says if you have an animal afraid of fireworks, you’re not in the clear yet so keep them inside when it starts to get dark over the next few days. They also urge pet owners to make sure they’re wearing a collar and tag with your contact information.
If your pet does go missing this is what you should do.
"First, you should check with your county, as well as local shelters. Let them know that you lost your dog and bring a picture of the dog," said Arneson.
Posting on local lost and found Facebook pages is also a great way to share a picture of your dog or cat.
Arenson says everyone driving should also be on the lookout for runaway animals this weekend.
"Be careful at night because when the animals spook they can run into cars because they’re not looking," said Arneson.