Fourth of July and Lost Pets

What you need to know to keep your own pets safe and how to help if you find a lost animal.

Safety First

The Fourth of July, and the days leading up to and following, can be scary and traumatic for our pets. While people may be celebrating, our pets don’t understand the loud noises and booming explosions that often blanket our neighborhoods.

Preparation is key to protecting our pets on the Fourth, and through the weekend. 

The safest place for our pets is indoors, in a secure room.

Even during the daytime hours, be prepared for noise whenever you are outside. Make sure your dog is on a secure leash and wearing identification – even when letting them out in your own backyard.

Cats can be particularly sensitive to loud noises so keep them safe and indoors. If possible, keep the windows closed since cats have been known to push through screens when scared.

More advice from OHS experts to help your pets cope with the Fourth of July, plus what to do if your pet is lost, can be found here

How to Help

If you find a lost or stray pet, there are several things you can do to help reunite them with their families:

  1. If they are wearing identification, try to get in touch with pet’s owner.

  2. Most shelters and vet clinics have scanners that can check a pet for a microchip, which is connected to a database with owner information.

  3. Post on your local community social media groups like Facebook, Nextdoor, and Craigslist. Also check these sites for posts from people who have lost pets.

  4. If your local animal service agency is not open, keep the pet overnight in safe space and separated from your own pets.

Lost or Stray Pets – Who do I call?

Although we both serve pets and people in our community, your local municipal animal services or animal control agency and Oregon Humane Society serve many different functions. Local animal services agencies have authority through state and local laws to help and house stray dogs, and in some cases other stray pets.

Your local animal services agency is the first place a pet owner will turn to when looking for their lost pet.

It’s important to know that OHS does not accept stray cats or dogs at the Portland or Salem campuses.

The only exception is stray cats from Polk County. However, in many cases a cat you think may be a stray may be better left in place. More information on what to do if you find a lost cat or kitten can be found here

OHS does play an important role in helping stray pets through our Second Chance program by working directly with dozens of Animal Services and Animal Control agencies. If a stray pet is not reunited with their owner after a designated period of time, OHS transfers these pets to OHS for adoption.

If you find a stray animal, please keep them with you until your local animal shelter is open and ready to receive them. Below is contact information for shelters in the Portland, Salem, and Southwest Washington areas:

Clackamas County Dog Services
13141 SE Highway 212
Clackamas, OR

Humane Society for Southwest Washington
1100 NE 192nd Ave. Vancouver, WA

Multnomah County Animal Services
1700 W. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, OR

Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter/Washington County Animal Services
1901 SE 24th Avenue, Hillsboro, OR

Clark County Animal Protection and Control
1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA

Marion County Dog Services
3550 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem OR

Polk County Sheriff’s Office
850 Main St, Dallas, OR