DENVER — As Coloradans prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, animal shelters are bracing for the worst as fireworks and loud noises this time of year do a good job of spooking our beloved pets.
"The fourth and the fifth [of July] are usually the busiest days for us throughout the whole year," Denver Animal Protection Behavior & Transfer Assistant Allison Schumacher said Sunday. "Dogs, cats, everything is frightened by all the loud noise, all the big bangs, and they just take off."
Already, the shelter is nearly at capacity with multiple dogs waiting in Lost and Found. With staffing shortages and a high population, any more pets they take in will add to the stress.
"It can be very difficult for our staff and all the animals that we already have here to just continue to take on more and more," Schumacher said.
She recommends staying home if your pet is anxious, turning the T-V on and giving them lots of treats to keep them from running away. And more importantly, don't take them outside to watch fireworks.
"A lot of times these dogs can hear a big, big bang and take off running, lose control of the leash, and then we end up with them here at the shelter," Schumacher said.
The best and fastest way to get reunited with your pet if they do run away, she says, is to make sure they're microchipped and wearing their tags.
Although the Denver Animal Shelter will be closed to the public Monday, its after-hours kennels will remain open for those who find a lost pet.