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

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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. During that time, you can call about lost and found pets at 503-846-7039 or go to the shelter, located at 1901 SE 24th Avenue in Hillsboro.

Last year during the week of July 4th, the shelter took in 35 dogs and 29 cats, with 25 pets reunited that week, many on the same day they came in. Of those 25, only two were cats. “This year, we really want to get people thinking about cats and their safety around the Fourth of July,” says Animal Behavior and Outreach Coordinator Jen Keene. “Of course, microchipping is very important, but they are only as good as the information attached to them. So make sure that info is current. Try hard to keep your cat indoors this week and be sure to contact us if they go missing.”

The Fourth of July is one of the shelter’s busiest times of the year, and pet owners should take precautions now to protect their pets before the fireworks start. Fireworks may cause pets to panic and escape from their normal enclosures or even to bolt away from their owners. In many neighborhoods, fireworks happen at any time day or night, and not just on the holiday itself.

Tips to keep pets safe

  • Pets staying with a friend or petsitter 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 help prevent it.
  • Check your fence to make sure there are no loose boards, holes or other places where a frightened or bored dog could escape.
  • License your dog at
  • Verify that your pets’ tags and microchips have your current and updated information. You can also register your chip at for free to increase your chances of being contacted.
  • If your pet is staying with someone else and you will be out of phone range, add a tag with the caretaker's information so they can be called quickly when the pet is found.
  • 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 use fans 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 503-846-7039 or go to the shelter as soon as possible to make a lost pet report. You can also look online to see which animals are currently in the shelter at
  • Dogs and cats can end up miles away from where they went missing. Contact nearby counties in addition to your own.
  • Check out social media. Sites such as Nextdoor and Facebook can help. There are several pet lost and found Facebook pages, such as "Lost and Found Pets Hillsboro" and "Lost/Found Pets Washington County." Craigslist also has sections for pets and lost and found that are worth checking out.
  • 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. Also check with your local pet-related businesses, such as veterinarians, pet supply companies and other local places where people might take a pet.
  • 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 by clicking on "License Look-Up” at
  • Call Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter at 503-846-7039 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:

Jennifer Keene, Animal Behavior and Outreach Coordinator