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Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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How to Keep Pets Safe During Fireworks Season

The Oregon Humane Society wants every pet owner to enjoy the holiday while keeping their pet safe and secure. Here are some easy to follow suggestions to make sure the “rocket’s red glare” don’t upset your dog or cat.


Tips to Help Ensure Your Pets Don’t Run Away Because Fireworks Can Scare Dogs (and Cats)
Independence Day is not a time of celebration for our pets. The fireworks that we humans find so thrilling can drive pets, especially dogs, into a state of utter panic. The explosions (even miles away), the high-pitched swoosh of rockets climbing into the sky, the flashes of light - these can all be overwhelming sensory assaults. If your pet is terrified of fireworks, you probably know the signs: He cowers, trembles in fear or hides and appears disoriented. Some dogs become so frightened they take drastic action. They can crash through a screen door, jump out of a window or leap a fence.

Every year, Portland animal shelters have their hands full dealing with lost dogs that bolted on July 4, cats that have gone missing and anxious owners looking for them. Sadly, some lost pets are never recovered. There are ways to make July 4 safer and less stressful for pets. Keep your pet inside as much as possible on July 4 (and for a few days before and after if your pet is extremely phobic about fireworks). If you find a stray animal, please keep them with you until your local animal shelter is open and ready to receive them.

The Oregon Humane Society urges pet owners to follow the suggestions below to ensure their pets will not run off.  

1)     Make sure all pets, even indoor-only cats, are wearing a collar with an identification tag that includes your name and telephone number. A microchip is also a good idea. Terrified animals will become confused and disoriented. They may end up miles from home or deep under a neighbor’s porch. This simple precaution will save a lot of anguish, time, and energy.

2)     Fireworks will be on sale soon -- that means kids may begin shooting them off early. Walk dogs in the early evening – well before nightfall – to prevent undue stress from noisy fireworks.

3)     During neighborhood firework displays, keep all pets safely inside. Dogs, and cats, who are agitated should be put into a bathroom or other room with no windows, with the door secure. Remember screen doors will not keep in a charging dog. Please do not take a dog to watch a large commercial firework display. This only increases the chances of him becoming lost in an unfamiliar area.

4)     In extreme cases, check with your veterinarian about tranquilizers.

If your pet becomes lost during the holiday (or at any time):

1)     Immediately check with your local animal control agency first.

2)     Put up flyers with a photo and detailed description of the missing pet.

3)     Check around the neighborhood carefully. Lost cats have been found days later hiding under a bush in front of their owners’ homes. For dogs, expand the search area further than expected as a precaution. 

Contact Information of Shelters in the Portland Metro and Southwest Washington Area

Clackamas County Dog Services
2104 Kaen Road, Oregon City, Oregon
Phone: (503) 655-8628
Hours of operation: lost/found assistance Monday – Saturday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Dog Services is closed on Sunday and holidays.

Humane Society for Southwest Washington
1100 NE 192nd Ave., Vancouver, Washington
Phone: (360) 693-4746
Animal Receiving & Lost and Found Viewing Hours Monday through Friday 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
Saturday and Sunday 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Multnomah County Animal Services
1700 W. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, Oregon
Phone: (503) 988-7387
Hours of operation: Tues., Thurs and Fri., 11:00 am – 6:00 pm;  12:00-6:00 pm Wednesday,  Saturday-Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Closed Monday and Holidays including the Fourth of July

Oregon Humane Society
1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, Oregon
Phone: (503) 285-7722
Hours of operation: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 9 pm; Sunday 10 am – 7 pm.
Closed on July 4th

Washington County Animal Services
Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter, 1901 SE 24th Avenue, Hillsboro, Oregon
Phone: (503) 846-7041
Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Accepting strays on the Fourth of July

Dove Lewis Emergency
1945 NW Pettygrove, Portland, Oregon 97209
Phone: (503) 228-7281
10564 SE Washington Street, Portland, Oregon 97215
Phone: (503) 262-7194
24 Hours, every day

Clark County Animal Protection and Control
1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, Washington
Phone: (360) 397-2488

Accepting strays on the Fourth of July