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June marks National Microchipping Month, an initiative designed to encourage pet owners to microchip their furry companions.

This timing is particularly significant as the Fourth of July approaches, a holiday notorious for the high number of pets that go missing due to the loud and startling fireworks displays. Understanding the importance of microchipping and learning how to prevent pet loss, as well as what steps to take if your pet goes missing, can ensure your beloved pets stay safe and find their way back home if they ever stray.

Here at the Beatrice Humane Society, we encourage microchips and are willing to place them for only $25 anytime we are open. Make sure your pet can always make it home safely.

The importance of microchipping

Microchipping involves implanting a tiny electronic chip under a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. This chip contains a unique identification number that, when scanned and searched in a database, reveals the owner’s contact information for a fast and safe reunion. Unlike collars and tags, which can easily fall off or become unreadable, a microchip provides a permanent means of identification.

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Microchips provide a reliable and tamper-proof method of identifying pets. Microchipped pets are significantly more likely to be reunited with their owners if lost. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs with microchips are more than twice as likely to be returned to their owners, while microchipped cats are 20 times more likely to be reunited.

Knowing your pet has a microchip gives you an extra layer of security, especially during high-risk times like the Fourth of July.

Fourth of July and lost pet prevention

The Fourth of July is a fun-filled holiday but also the most perilous time for pets. Fireworks can frighten animals, causing them to run away in a panic. Large gatherings result in doors being accidentally left open and traveling can result in accidental loose pets. Here are some preventive measures to keep your pets safe before the holiday:

Check your pets collar and tags: Ensure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags with contact information, even if they are microchipped. This provides an immediate way for someone to contact you if your pet is found. If we had a penny for every lost pet that didn’t have its collar on because it just got a bath, we would never need to ask for donations again.

Keep your pets indoors: The safest place for pets during this time of year is inside the home. From summer storms that pop up quickly to fireworks to danger from the extreme temperatures, leaving a pet outdoors unsupervised can quickly result in a lost, injured or ill pet.

Create a safe space: Designate a quiet area in your home where your pet can feel secure. This could be a crate or a room with their favorite bed and toys. Use this space during storms and fireworks or if your visitors get to be too much. Even kid- and fun-loving pets can be overwhelmed with this holiday, and rather than stressing your pet out, set them up a safe sanctuary area with their favorite toys or a new chew treat. Playing calming music or turning on the TV can also help drown out the chaos.

What to do if your pet goes missing

Despite your best efforts, pets can still go missing. If this happens, prompt action is crucial.

Search the immediate area: Begin by looking around your neighborhood. Call out your pet’s name and bring their favorite treat or toy to coax them out if they are hiding.

Notify neighbors: Inform your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out. Provide them with a recent photo and your contact information.

Use social media and online platforms: Post on local community pages, lost-and-found pet groups, and platforms like Nextdoor. Include clear photos and a detailed description of your pet.

Contact local shelters and veterinarians: Report your missing pet to local animal shelters, rescue groups and veterinary offices. Provide them with your pet’s microchip number if available.

Create flyers: Distribute flyers in your neighborhood with a photo of your pet, a description and your contact information. Place them in high-traffic areas such as grocery stores, parks and community centers. Share with any delivery drivers, package delivery workers or other employees who will be spending time outdoors in your area.

Visit shelters in person: Physically visit local shelters as often as possible. Descriptions over the phone might not match your pet exactly, so it’s best to check for yourself. All stray dogs at the Beatrice Humane Society are posted on Facebook and Petco Love Lost. Most stray holds are less than five days (ours is only three), which means you must be prompt at contacting the shelter to reclaim your pet if they go missing.

Stay persistent: Continue searching and following up on leads. Pets have been found weeks or even months after they go missing by diligent and committed owners. Contact us at BHS at 402-228-9100 if you need additional assistance.

National Microchipping Month serves as a reminder of the crucial role microchips play in pet safety and ensuring a safe holiday for ALL family members. With the Fourth of July just around the corner, taking preventive measures to protect your pets from the dangers of fireworks and knowing what to do if they go missing can make all the difference. Microchipping your pet is a simple, effective way to ensure they have the best chance of finding its way back home, giving you peace of mind and helping to keep your furry friends safe year-round.

The Beatrice Humane Society is here to help leading up to this busy holiday and after. Contact us at 402-228-9100.

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