Missing pets rise after Fourth of July fireworks, shelters encourage microchipping

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The number of lost pets skyrocket during the Fourth of July holiday.

Karen Buchan is the Animal Care Supervisor for Huntsville Animal Services. She said the loud noise of fireworks is extremely frightening to pets.

"They're going to find a way to get away from that noise, and if that means running and hiding through the fence they're going to do it," she explained.

Fourth of July is the number one holiday for pets to go missing. Buchan said if your pet gets out, don't wait.

"It's so important that if you do discover your pet missing, don't wait a couple of days, don't wait a week, visit the shelter immediately," she said.

She said owners shouldn't just rely on a pet having an ID on them.

"Microchipping your pet is so very important because even with a collar and tags, that's important too, but what if it comes off?," said Buchan.

Microchipping a pet typically costs between $25 and $50.

"Any vet office, animal shelters, rescue groups, they have scanners now.  They're scanning all the animals that they find or people who find them,  so that we can track the owner," she said.

Buchan said they've already gotten a lot of calls to the shelter about lost pets, but it's hard to find them with just a phone call.

"We always encourage everybody, physically come here and look for your pet. Fill out a lost report, go on social media and put a great picture of the pet, and share with friends and family," she said.

Buchan said it's important to go to the shelter and visibly look for your pet every two to three days. And most importantly, don't give up.

No Kill Huntsville is hosting a Chipathon throughout the month of July, providing microchips at a discounted price.

The Chipathon is happening at South Memorial Veterinary Services, located inside the Pet Depot at 10008 Memorial Parkway SW. Microchip services are available by appointment or on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.