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    Busy Fourth of July holiday for county animal shelter
    • July 6, 2024

    The county’s animal shelter has taken in 20 dogs the past couple of days and more are expected to arrive as Independence Day celebrations come to a close.

    The loud noises, crowds and more people coming and going over the Fourth of July holiday can cause dogs to be frightened more easily and “look for places to run and hide,” OC Animal Care spokesperson Alexa Pratt said. And that means the holiday is the shelter’s busiest time of year.

    This 2-year-old pit bull mix was picked up in Anaheim and is being held a the OC Animal Care is among the many pets that were picked up after the Fourth of July in Tustin on Friday, July 5, 2024. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A pair of Chihuahua dachshund mix puppies that were picked up in Orange are being held a the OC Animal Care and are among the many pets that were picked up after the Fourth of July in Tustin on Friday, July 5, 2024. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A pair of Chihuahua dachshund mix puppies that were picked up in Orange are being held a the OC Animal Care and are among the many pets that were picked up after the Fourth of July in Tustin on Friday, July 5, 2024. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A 5-year-old dachshund mix who was picked up in Santa Ana gets a scratch behind the ears by marketing intern Christianna Fjelstad at the OC Animal Care and is one of the many pets that were picked up after the Fourth of July in Tustin on Friday, July 5, 2024. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A 5-year-old cairn terrier mix who was picked up in Santa Ana is being held at the OC Animal Care and is one of the many pets that were picked up after the Fourth of July in Tustin on Friday, July 5, 2024. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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    Ten dogs were taken into the shelter just on Friday morning.

    “When animals don’t have that comfort present around large groups of people or loud noises, they look for it whether that be in your home or out of your home, looking for places to escape,” Pratt said. “A lot of times, unfortunately, this is how the animals get out of the home and get out of the yard.”

    If your pet escaped over the holiday, Pratt said call OC Animal Care’s office at 714-935-6848 or try the “lost and found” tab on ocpetinfo.com, OC Animal Care’s website. There, pet owners can check if their lost animal wound up at the county shelter or if it has been found by community members. OC Animal Care serves much of Orange County, but also check which shelter your city contracts with.

    Pets that are brought into the shelter are examined by a vet, vaccinated and placed in one of the shelter’s kennels. Lost pets are held for their owners to claim them for four to 10 days, depending on which city they were found in and whether they had any form of identification, according to OC Animal Care’s website.

    Pet owners are also encouraged to search through their neighborhood and tap resources such as social media groups, local veterinarians and posting flyers.

    The Mission Viejo Animal Shelter, which provides services to several of its neighboring cities, had an “unusually” slow holiday this year, only taking in two stray animals as of Friday afternoon, spokesperson Brynn Lavison said, calling it a “good thing.”

    To prepare for the anxiety that comes with loud holidays, Pratt suggests creating a “comfortable corner in the house full of blankets” to calm the animals down. Playing music or white noise in the room can also cancel out some of the loud fireworks sounds.

    Additionally, getting your pet microchipped and ensuring the contact information associated with the microchip is updated is the best way to add extra security for your precious pets, Pratt said.

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    “When a dog comes into our shelter, the first thing that we do is check for a microchip and if we find one, we can call,” Pratt said. “We try to get the animal and its family reunited as quickly as possible before the dog or cat even comes into the shelter.”

    ​ Orange County Register 

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