As residents begin planning their Fourth of July celebrations, the Vanderburgh Humane Society is putting out a plea asking that animals be kept in mind, as there is often an increase of lost pets following the Fourth of July. Festivities for the holiday often include fireworks and other commotion, which can be stressful to pets or result in them getting lost. For the safety and protection of pets, the VHS joins the Humane Society of the United States in recommending the following:

Leave pets at home and inside. Fireworks can be terrifying to pets, even pets who are accustomed to being around crowds and commotion.

  • Create a home sanctuary. Leave your pet in an area of your home where he or she is safe, comfortable and sheltered from any outside noise and lights. An interior room without immediate access to the outside is preferred. Playing a radio with relaxing music may help mask the sound of fireworks.
  • Pet-proof your home. When scared, some animals may become destructive so be sure to remove anything from reach that can become damaged or may harm the pet if chewed or eaten.
  • Identification is essential. Pets may panic, escape and become lost. Updated identification is critical to ensuring lost pets are reunited with their families. A properly-fitting collar, ID tags with phone numbers, and a microchip will greatly increase your chances of getting your beloved pet home safely and promptly.  Make sure that all of your contact information is up-to-date with the microchip company and on your pet’s tags. Ideal identification is both a tag and microchip (make sure your chip is registered on a site such as

For pets who are not yet microchipped, Evansville Animal Care & Control offers microchipping during business hours for $15. It is a simply insertion with a small needle and takes just a few minutes.

Consult a veterinarian for pets with anxiety. Consult your veterinarian before the Fourth of July to seek out remedies to lower your pet’s stress level if this is a known issue.

“The thunderous noise from firework displays often frightens and disorients pets, and as a result they will often bolt from their owners or yard trying to get away from that noise,” say VHS staff members. “Even the most social, easygoing pets are often affected. You never know who will set off firecrackers right outside your house.”

Typically, the VHS receives 3 times the normal calls for lost pets around the explosive holiday.  When fireworks begin, dogs have been known to jump fences, dig out of their yards, break chains, and even bust through glass windows because of their wild fear.  When pets are left alone to panic while owners are at holiday celebrations, ordinarily well-behaved pets may become destructive and unpredictable.

Additional tips to keep pets safe:

Do not leave fireworks out where your pet can eat them. Whether lit or unlit, fireworks are toxic!

  • Use caution with pool chemicals. Many common pool treatments are poisonous to animals!
  • Grapes/raisins, onions/garlic, and peanut butter sweetened with xylitol is harmful to dogs. Be sure your pet is not getting table scraps at family barbecues & gatherings.
  • NEVER leave your pet in a vehicle, even for a few minutes. Temperatures rise much faster inside cars even with the windows down. Dogs (and children!) die every year in hot cars.

Let’s make this a safe and happy Independence Day for people and pets by starting with prevention!

Thursday, July 4th in observance of the holiday. We will not be accepting animals or answering phones to take lost/found animal reports until our regular business hours on Friday, July 5th. For more information, contact Amanda Coburn at 426-2563 ext. 218.