More dogs and cats turn up missing around this holiday than any other.

(NORTH CHARLESTON) – The 4th of July Holiday is a happy time of year for people, but can be dangerous for pets in more ways than one.

Fireworks can be particularly distressing for animals due to their heightened sense of hearing and sensitivity to loud noises. The sudden bursts of light and deafening sounds can cause panic and anxiety, leading pets to flee in search of safety.

“By far, we see more pets turn up missing right after the 4th of July than any other time of year,” said Charleston Animal Society Chief Lifesaving Officer Pearl Sutton. “We urge people to keep their pets inside and always have them on leashes because of fireworks that will be going off around the holiday, frightening animals.”

Before the 4th of July holiday there are important checklist items to accomplish:

  • Make sure your pets are wearing collars and ID tags with a current phone number.  “Even indoor pets need collars and tags because they can become frightened and try to escape outdoors,” Sutton said.
  • Register your pet at PetcoLoveLost.org right now.  The site uses free facial-recognition technology that can help shelters reunite lost pets with families but it only works if you have uploaded your pet’s photo using your phone or computer.
  • Make sure you take current pictures of your pets and have them ready to share with people, should your pet go missing.  Officials can have difficulty reuniting pets who might look alike with the correct family when the pets become lost.

If your pet goes missing, it’s important to take action quickly:

  • Post a picture of your pet on PetcoLoveLost.org, a FREE service that will use facial recognition to locate your pet.
  • Immediately search your neighborhood.
  •  Put up signs with a picture of your pet, his or her name and other important information.
  • Post a picture and information about your pet’s last known whereabouts on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Visit Charleston Animal Society at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston to see if your pet has been picked up by animal control or a concerned citizen and brought to the shelter.
  • Visit CharlestonAnimalSociety.org/lost-dogs or CharlestonAnimalSociety.org/lost-cats.

4th of July Safety Tips:

  • Fireworks: Fun for Family, Not for Fido. Leave pets at home when you head out for fireworks, and don’t ignite them around pets.
  • Keep Pets Cool. Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so it is imperative to provide them with plenty of water when it is hot outdoors. Pets should also have a shady place to escape the sun if outside and they should never linger on hot asphalt during periods of extreme heat. This can cause an animal to heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
  • Spot the Symptoms. Signs of overheating in pets include increased heart rate, excessive drooling and panting, difficulty breathing, weakness, elevated body temperature (over 104 degrees), and even seizures. Even if swimming, a dog can easily get sick in the heat.
  • Glow Jewelry is a Potential Danger. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of plastic containers.