The Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter in Santa Maria is preparing to be able to reunite pet owners with their animals if they go missing during the holiday weekend.
According to the shelter, they often see an influx of missing pets during the Fourth of July holiday. Fireworks are thought to scare animals, causing them to run away.
"We are anticipating we might see an uptick in intakes so I think we're ready for it," said Esteban Rodriguez, Operations Manager at Santa Barbara County Animal Services. "I think the community has been really supportive in doing the right thing so I'm hoping most people will keep their pets confined, get them microchipped, get them licensed or at least have some kind of identification on their collar."
Fireworks events are canceled this year on the Central Coast but the shelter is still preparing.
The shelter will be closed July 3 and July 4 but plans to reopen July 5. Pet pictures and information will be available online and outside of the shelter for pet owners looking for missing animals.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services encourages pet owners to visit the Lost and Found page on their website before visiting the shelter. In-person visits should be made by appointment.
The shelter is advising pet owners to keep their animals indoors if fireworks are sounding. Music or other inside noise can also help block the fireworks sound.