Chicago animal shelters receive influx of stray pets on July 4

CHICAGO (WLS) -- When the fireworks go off on Independence Day, your pet might make a run for it.

Animal shelters across the Chicagoland area on Wednesday were preparing to welcome animals that leave home because they are afraid of the loud noises.

Chicago's Animal Care and Control was already full and was expected to be over capacity this weekend.

"If you leave your dog outside in the yard, then they hear this loud thunderous boom they may jump the fence or go under fence and take off," said Kelley Gandurski, Chicago Animal Care and Control's executive director.

CAAC is the temporary stray hold for the city. Ideally lost pets are reunited with their owners within a few days, but Gandurski said that does not happen too often.

"Most of the dogs and cats we see coming that are stray are not micro-chipped, and without a microchip the percentages are very low on getting them back to their owner," Gandurski said.

CACC said Friday that it took in 27 animals on the Fourth of July, up from 22 in 2018.

To free up space, they partner with other shelters; PAWS Chicago is the largest.

"We are going to be there July 4th and 5th rescuing and pulling as many animals as we can into our program that will free up space to take in the influx, " said Sarah McDonald, a PAWS Chicago spokesperson.

Besides an influx of dogs, summer is kitten season. There are plenty of kittens and older cats up for adoption.

To encourage people to adopt, PAWS Chicago was open July 4th and CACC has waived adoption fees for animals six months and older this weekend.

Animal shelters are reminding pet owners to keep their dogs and cats inside during the firework shows, and to get them micro-chipped, to avoid an overload of strays.
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