Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter Open on July Fourth for Lost and Found Pets

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Animal Services Division

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter in Hillsboro will be open on the Fourth of July from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to take in stray animals and reunite lost pets with their owners.

“Fireworks may cause pets to panic and escape from their normal enclosures or even to bolt away from their owners,” says Animal Services Manager Randy Covey. “Pet owners should take precautions before they hear the first boom, because after that, things can be very unpredictable. In many neighborhoods, fireworks happen at any time day or night, and not just on the actual holiday.”

The Fourth of July is one of the shelter’s busiest times of the year. “Being open on the Fourth every year is a tradition we are proud to continue,” says Covey. “It’s just one more reason Washington County is one of the safest places in the country to be a lost or homeless pet.”

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Avenue in Hillsboro. It’s just off the Tualatin Valley Highway by Lowe’s and Home Depot. Phone: 503-846-7041.

Tips to keep pets safe

  • Pets staying with a friend or petsitter over the holiday weekend may be even more likely to panic and bolt because they feel less secure without their family. Be sure to discuss with the sitter what to do if a pet gets lost and how to prevent it from happening.
  • Check your fence to make sure that there are no loose boards, holes or other places where a frightened dog could escape.
  • Verify that your pet's tags and microchips have your current and updated information (and that your dog is licensed).
  • Make sure you have a good current photo of your pet in case you need to make lost pet posters.
  • Keep your pet indoors, preferably crated or in a quiet interior room.
  • Play music or talk radio to try to drown out the noise.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about whether medications could be helpful.

What to do if you lose a pet

  • Check with the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter by calling 503-846-7041 or go to the shelter as soon as possible to make a lost pet report. Shelter staff can then compare your pet’s details to reports of found pets and help match you up with a finder as quickly as possible, and sometimes without the pet even needing to come to the shelter. You can also look online to see which animals are currently at the shelter. To see lost pets, go to  
  • Contact neighboring counties. Dogs and cats can end up miles away from where they went missing.
  • Check out social media such as NextDoor, Craigslist and Facebook. There are several pet lost and found Facebook pages, such as "Lost and Found Pets Hillsboro" and "Lost/Found Pets Washington County."
  • Scour your neighborhood as soon as you know your pet is missing. Make fliers with your pet's photo and your phone number on them. Put them up in the neighborhood and go door to door in the area the pet was last seen.
  • Make it inviting for your pet to return home. Immediately put out tasty treats, water and your pet's bed or an item with your smell on it. Put your cat's litter box outside. Your pet may return once it calms down, especially if it senses a piece of home.

What to do if you find a pet

  • If you find a stray dog or cat, assume that it is someone's beloved pet that has accidentally gotten away and not a "dumped" or neglected animal.
  • If a dog has a Washington County license, you can look up the owner’s phone number at
  • Call Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter at 503-846-7041 and file a report. Contacting the shelter increases the probability of reuniting an animal with its owner. You can also bring the pet into the shelter. Shelter staff will scan pets for microchips and actively look for owners. Most veterinary offices will also scan found pets free of charge.
  • Ask around. You can also put up a "Found Pet" sign in your own front yard, where an owner might see it if they are out searching.

Media Contact:

Randy Covey (or Jennifer Keene)