Riverside County Animal Shelter Over Capacity, Expected to Double After July 4th

Carmela Karcher

“Every year right around the Fourth of July, a few days before and a few days after, we call that our Armageddon. That’s our busiest season,” Coachella Valley Animal Campus Operations Chief Jaclyn Schart said.

One minute, you’re celebrating the Fourth of July with your furry friend.

In the next, they’re nowhere to be found.

“We find a lot of pets that come in that are just super scared. They’re lost,” Schart explained. “As the weather is warming up, we’re talking about a heatwave with the Fourth of July, we’re nervous that pets are going to be stressed, lost and overheated.”

Right now, the Riverside County Animal Shelter is well over capacity.

Over 300 animals are waiting for a forever home, but as early as this weekend, the shelter is expected to double.

“With the influx and the Fourth of July that’s kind of colliding, we really need help.,” Schart continued. “We’re talking to everybody that comes in the lobby, starting now, about how we can support you. Is it a collar? Is it a tag? Is it a microchip?”

But there are ways you can help.

“We want to talk about promoting adoptions, but we don’t want people or us to feel irresponsible about getting a new pet during the holidays,” Schart said. “But, not everybody likes fireworks right? We have a lot of military veterans where they might be affected by the loud booms. We have a lot of people that are sound sensitive. So if you’re like us and don’t want to be outside of the Fourth of July, please come to adopt the shelter pets or even foster. Just take somebody home, try them out for an hour or a week, see if it works out and then you can adopt later if that works out better for you.”

So, here is what to do if you have a pet and want to keep them safe and calm this holiday.

“Turn on a radio, turn on TV, keep them inside of a kennel or somewhere in the house where they’re not hearing the festivities,” Schart explained. “We definitely encourage you not to take your pets with you.”

But if your pet does get lost, the Riverside County Animal Shelter has services.

“Look on Nextdoor. Follow us on Facebook. Follow us on all of our socials, because we do found posts to try to reunite the pets that come in,” Schart said. “If you can upload a photo of Petco Love Lost, its facial recognition, which is so huge in our current technology that now we can reunite pets just by their photo. We’re really hoping people will do that.”

Identification is huge.

Every Thursday, the shelter holds a microchip clinic and provides free engraved name tags.

So if your pet goes missing, it becomes that much easier to find them, especially during Fourth of July.

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