Animal Shelters See Uptick in Lost Pets on New Year’s Day, Tips to Keep Pets Safe

Carmela Karcher

While celebrating when the ball drops is exciting for us, that’s not the case for your furry friends.

“After New Year’s, we do tend to get a lot of animals in,” Animal Services Supervisor with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, Marisa Sanabria, said.

Each start of the year, the Coachella Valley Animal Campus consistently gets an influx of lost dogs and cats at their shelter.

That’s because they got spooked.

Dogs and cats have better hearing than humans which means fireworks are much louder for them, causing pets to bolt and get disoriented.

“We get a lot of dogs that get frightened and tend to run off because they’re scared of the loud noise of the fireworks,” Sanabria continued.

But, there are plenty of ways to keep your pets calm and content while ringing in the New Year.

“Leave your TV on or your radio on so they don’t hear the loud noise of the fireworks,” Sanabria explained. “Don’t take any of your pets out during the time of the New Year celebration when all the loud noises and fireworks are going on. You don’t want them to become frightened and run off and that’s what usually happens.”

Other helpful tips: bring your animals, especially cats, indoors.

Put your animals in a smaller space and create a calming environment, whether that’s in a crate or a separate room, and have their favorite toy handy.

Comfort them when the clock strikes midnight.

Most importantly, make sure your pet has its ID tag on.

“Also, make sure your microchip information is all current and up to date. That’s very important. If we get your dogs in, we can contact you and reunite the pet with the owner.”

In case your animal does escape, call the nearest Animal Service Center and let them know your pet is missing.

Give them specific information on what your pet looks like and whether or not they are microchipped or have an ID tag.

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