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Beware of missing pets on July 4 weekend

Photo submitted/Charlie is one of Brookhaven Animal Rescue League’s dogs available for adoption this holiday weekend.

Photo submitted/Charlie is one of Brookhaven Animal Rescue League’s dogs available for adoption this holiday weekend.

More pets go missing from their homes over the July 4 holiday than any other time of the year, officials from Brookhaven Animal Rescue League said.

“We get more calls about lost dogs surrounding the Fourth of July holiday than any other time of the year,” said Barl President Lu Becker. “We hear about inside dogs that get so spooked by the fireworks, they bolt out the door when they get a chance.

These are dogs that have never run away before.  Many of the dogs have on collars, but the vast majority do not have ID tags on their collars. The owners are heart-broken and it is so sad.”

Becker shared some helpful hints from the website, PetFinder:

• Keep charcoal, fireworks, sparkers and glow sticks far from curious pets

• Ensure they are wearing ID collar/tags with up-to-date information

• Take a current photo (just in case)

• Keep your pets inside and play gentle music for them to focus on when fireworks start up.

If a pet does get lost, do not assume it will come back, Becker said. She said owners of lost pets should immediately make posters with big, bold letters that can be seen from a moving vehicle that says “Lost dog” or “Lost cat.” Then include a brief description or breed type. Don’t assume people will know a particular pure breed, so always include a description, she said. Include the animal’s name, it may make it easier for someone to call the pet over and it. Offer a reward, don’t state how much in the ad, and include a telephone number in large numbers at the bottom of the poster.

She also said pet owners should make dozens of index cards with the same information as the signs, and go to every home, in every direction from the site of where the pet disappeared, and give a card, or stick a card under doors or on windshields.

“Stop and speak with every person you encounter – the more people know about your lost pet, the more likely the one person who spots him will call you,” she said. “Your pet may be frightened, ask people to please check their barns and sheds, especially at night.”

She suggests canvasing the neighborhood with the help of friends and family, all calling the pet by name. The best time to call for your pet is at night, and at dawn. If you are calling from your car, drive slowly, roll down all the windows, stop and turn your vehicle off frequently to listen, she said.

It also helps to call the neighbors, local veterinary clinics, the animal shelter and animal control as well as veterinary clinics and veterinary hospitals outside the local area.

Also call kennels, dog trainers and grooming shops, she said.

“We always encourage people to post their lost animal information on social media sites,” said Becker.

BARL’s mission is to humanely care for shelter animals while contributing to community activities that reduce pet overpopulation, encourage responsible pet ownership, protect public health and safety, and promote the human-animal bond.

BARL is a nonprofit, volunteer-based, limited-admission animal welfare organization serving Copiah, Franklin and Lincoln counties.

BARL provides food, shelter and veterinary services for abandoned, orphaned and unwanted animals until they are adopted.

All BARL animals are treated for parasites, vaccinated and spayed/neutered.  Dogs are also micro-chipped.

Anyone interested in adopting, contributing, or volunteering should contact BARL at 601-757-4367, 601-754-2000, orinfo@barl.net.

Donations are tax deductible and may be mailed to BARL, P.O. Box 3477, Brookhaven, MS  39603.

Many of BARL’s adoptable animals may be viewed online at www.barl.net.