December 9, 2022


pets keep it coming

How to keep pets safe at home during fireworks to avoid shelters

2 min read

More pets run away on July 4th than any other day, according to the Michigan-based nonprofit Bissell Pet Foundation, which provides Michigan residents tips to keep their pets safe during the holiday weekend.

In anticipation of shelter intake rates skyrocketing, the nonprofit’s creator Cathy Bissell wants residents to be proactive by ensuring their pets are microchipped with updated information, according to a Monday press release issued by Bissell Pet Foundation.

“Shelters are full right now and space is limited,” Cathy said in the release. “A microchip is not a GPS, but it will increase your chances of reuniting with your pet if they are ever lost.”

July is consistently the highest month for intakes in animal shelters nationwide, according to 24Pet ShelterWatch data. And shelters are already in crisis with overcrowding and other obstacles like longer length-of-stay for pets, seasonal high intake of puppies and kittens, lack of spay/neuter services during the COVID-19 pandemic, short staffing and slowed adoptions.

“Regardless of if they are big, medium, small dogs, puppy or adult, there are too many adoptable pets within the shelter system, and their length of stay has increased, taxing the staff and the pets themselves,” Cathy wrote in an April 15 blog post. “Many shelters are experiencing a significant influx in puppies in part due to the break the industry took during COVID on spay/neuter services. Now, there is a lack of veterinarians to catch back up. This is a crisis. Hundreds of puppies each month are crossing the threshold of our high intake shelters.”

To keep pets safe during the holiday weekend, Bissell Pet Foundation is encouraging pet owners to:

  1. Keep pets indoors in a quiet place where they will feel comfortable.
  2. Give pets their favorite toy and check on them often to ensure they are calm.
  3. Be sure your pet has a microchip with up-to-date information.
  4. Always keep ID tags on your pet and ensure the collar and tags are secure.
  5. Tire your pets out by spending more time exercising them than normal to keep them calm.

The Bissell Pet Foundation started Empty the Shelters at just a few Michigan shelters in the beginning. Since then, the event has grown to be the country’s largest funded adoption event. To date, the events have provided more than $7.6 million in direct funding to shelter partners to support pet adoptions.

Through these events, the foundation has helped to place 96,068 pets since 2016.