In preparation for the Fourth of July, Stanislaus County Animal Shelter is offering free adoptions of all cats and dogs.

With the noise from fireworks and gunshots, animal control officials across the country see a 30% increase in lost pets around the Fourth of July. To make room for the influx of animals to the shelter, Stanislaus County is giving away cats and dogs.

New pet parents typically spend a $90 to adopt from the shelter, but up until the July 3rd prospective owners are only required to pay the yearly licensing fee of $12 if they live in Stanislaus County.

Connie Hooker, Operation Supervisor at the animal shelter, wants to encourage people to adopt now.

“If you are thinking about adopting an animal, now is the time, $90 is a good chunk of change,” Hooker said.

Not only is the Fourth of July the busiest time of the year for the shelter, but summer is also cat season. According to Hooker, “once the temperature gets above 55 degrees, cats start reproducing and they don’t really stop until it cools back down.”

The shelter is currently housing over 200 dogs and over 300 cats that are waiting to be adopted. Since the shelter is a municipal facility, they cannot turn any animal away. Last year alone, the shelter housed over 15,000 dogs and cats.

According to Hooker, “people tend to reclaim their lost pets on the fourth of July, but the rest of the year less than 50% of pet owners reclaim their lost animals.”

“Something that the public really needs to understand is that there is no such thing as a ‘no kill’ shelter. Shelters that claim to be ‘no kill’ have limited space,” Hooker said, “Because we have to take everything, unfortunately some animals have to be put down.”

Workers at the shelter make the decision to put an animal down based on availability of space, and behavior and health of the animal.

If you are already a pet owner, there are things that you can do to keep your animal safe on the Fourth of July.

“Many dogs jump over fences and even out of windows because they get scared from the noise,” Hooker said. “The most important thing that you can do for your dog is make them feel safe and comfortable, keep them in a quite area away from noise,”

If pet owners are concerned about their dogs getting out on the Fourth of July, they should also talk to their vet about ways to ease their anxiety.

If you are unable to adopt a pet at this time, there are lots of ways that you can help out the shelter. They are always in need of volunteers to help clean and even help socialize the animals.

For more information on adoption and animal services please visit their website.

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