County offers free pet microchipping ahead of Fourth of July holiday

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The county Department of Animal Services is offering free pet microchipping for residents ahead of the Fourth of July holiday as a way to prevent animals from becoming lost if they are easily scared by fireworks.

Although the Fourth of July is a time for celebration for humans, it can be a cause for panic for animals, according to the Department of Animal Services. Loud explosions from fireworks scare dogs and can cause them to run away from home in some cases.

In 2016, nearly 60 dogs ended up at County Animal Service Shelters and 67 dogs were brought to county shelters in 2015 over the July 4 holiday. animal services said.

“Dogs can panic and they’ll do anything to escape from the noise,” Department of Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa said. “That includes digging under, climbing over or even breaking through gates, screens, fences, windows and doors.”

In order to be able to reunite owners with their pets if they run away from home this Fourth of July, three San Diego County animal shelters are waiving the $10 microchipping fee.

No appointments are necessary, just show up between 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to any San Diego Humane location. If you can’t make it then, it will also be free from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at their Gaines St. campus and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Escondido. 

Central Shelter
5480 Gaines Street, San Diego, CA 92110

North Shelter
2481 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011

South Shelter
5821 Sweetwater Road, Bonita, CA 91902

The county also recommends registering your pet with Finding Rover, a facial recognition tool that matches your dog’s face with those that have been found.

Here are some additional tips on how to protect your pet this Fourth of July:

  • Avoid taking your pet to fireworks displays. Keep your pets indoors in a sheltered, quiet area.
  • Some dogs become destructive when frightened so remove dangerous objects your pet may chew. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company while you’re away.
  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard. In their fear, pets that normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and get lost.
  • If you know your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult your veterinarian to see if anxiety-relieving medication is appropriate.
  • Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects, even death, within minutes.
  • If you are walking your dog near fireworks displays, be sure your pet is secured on a leash in case it tries to bolt.

The department asks that if you find a lost pet after the fireworks, call County Animal Services’ 24-hour emergency dispatch number at (619) 236-2341 so the animal can be cared for at the shelter.

If you lose your pet, check the department’s lost and found page online and Finding Rover. If you see your dog is at County Animal Services, you can pick up your pet starting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5.

Categories: Local San Diego News