MACC Officials Release Pet Safety Tips for Fourth of July
Officials at Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC) are calling for community members to leave pets at home in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area during Fourth of July festivities. In case a pet does escape, the public can be prepared by making sure all pets have collars with updated contact information and that the information connected to any pet's microchip is current.
In the week leading up to the Fourth of July, pet owners should closely examine yards and houses to make sure they are a safe environment that pets cannot escape from should neighbors set off fireworks at unexpected times.
ID tags and microchips, which are a permanent method of electronic identification implanted just under the skin between the shoulder blades at the back of a pet's neck, should be updated with current information on both cats and dogs. If a pet is not yet microchipped, community members are encouraged to speak to their vet about the procedure. MACC offers microchip clinics every Thursday and the shelter is open from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. where the cost is $10.00. MACC's community partner, Pet Community Center, offers low-cost microchipping throughout the week.
During July Fourth celebrations, leave pets at home in a safe, escape-proof room or crate. Notes on exit doors and gates can help hosts and guests stay conscious of their surroundings so no escape routes become available to potentially panicked pooches. Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to pets, and even unused fireworks can contain hazardous materials.
Following Fourth of July celebrations, check yards and outside areas for firework debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Yards and homes should also be checked for food scraps or other debris such as skewers that might be dangerous to pets.
The shelter will be closed to the public on July 4th. If a pet does escape on July 4th but is found by MACC animal control officers with proper identification, he or she will be returned directly home for free as a part of MACC's "Free Ride Home." Pets without identification that are brought to the shelter on Thursday, July 4, can be reclaimed on Friday, July 5, through Sunday July 7, with fees waived as a part of MACC's "Partied Too Hard, Now Get Back in Your Yard" promotion, which is designed to help make the reclaim process easier for pet owners who may have been caught unprepared on Independence Day.
"Our animal control officers are prepared for an increase in calls regarding lost animals on July 4th. But, we believe with the community's help and preparation, we can make sure less pets are lost in the first place, and if they do escape, they can be returned almost immediately by referencing the information on a collar or microchip," said Ashley Harrington, MACC's Field Supervisor. "Spend the early parts of the day with your pets relaxing and taking cute pictures, but once festivities begin, secure them inside. Everyone - you, your neighbors, our animal control officers, and most importantly, your pet - will be glad you did."
MACC is located at 5125 Harding Place, Nashville, 37211. The shelter is open every day from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. with extended evening hours until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.