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Protect your pets on Independence Day

For many people, Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated days of the year, a time to enjoy backyard barbecues and fireworks lighting up the sky. While fun for people, these holiday festivities create potential hazards for pets. The Seattle Animal Shelter encourages you to make July Fourth activities safe for the furry members of your family by offering a handful of holiday tips.

General Tips:

  • Keep your pet indoors. The noise from fireworks can be frightening to animals and may cause them to seek safety.
  • Don’t bring your pet to a fireworks display. Crowded, unfamiliar and loud places can cause undue stress on animals. If you are going to a fireworks display or an event where fireworks will be used, the best action is to leave your pet at home.
  • Consult your veterinarian beforehand if you think your pet may need to be sedated.
  • Protect your pet from the heat. Holiday weekend weather is forecasted in the mid-to-upper 80s. Do not leave your pet in a car, even in the shade, and make sure your pet has access to cool water. Be careful not to overexert your pet.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification, such as a current pet license. If a lost pet wearing its license is brought to the Seattle Animal Shelter, the owner is notified immediately via telephone. If an officer finds a licensed pet in the field, it will be returned to the owner, instead of taken to the shelter.
  • Don’t feed your pet scraps from the grill. While it can be very tempting to share your holiday treats with your pet, it’s best to keep your pet on its normal diet. A change in diet can upset your pet’s digestion, and some human foods are toxic for some animals.

The Seattle Animal Shelter will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. If you find a stray animal, please care for the animal until the shelter reopens on Wednesday, July 5. As humane law enforcement officers will not be available during the closure, for any life-threatening situations call the Seattle Police Department at 911.

If you need emergency care for an injured animal, the following veterinary hospitals will be open on the holiday:

  • BluePearl (formerly Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services)
    11536 Lake City Way NE
    Seattle, WA 98125
  • Emerald City Emergency Clinic
    4102 Stone Way N.
    Seattle, WA 98103

The Seattle Animal Shelter, located at 2061 15th Ave. W., is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions and licensing. For more information, call 206-386-PETS (7387), or view animals available for adoption online at