July 4th Pet Safety

Notice: The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter will be open on July 4th from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday, July 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Owners may reclaim their pets during these times. Finders may bring in lost or stray dogs. Cat intake is by appointment only, so finders should first call 503-846-7039 to schedule.

The shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Avenue in Hillsboro. It’s just off the Tualatin Valley Highway by Lowe’s and Home Depot. Shelter staff will be wearing face coverings and request that citizens do the same when coming to the shelter, as well as following physical distancing and other safety guidelines.

fireworksFireworks may cause pets to panic and escape from their normal enclosures or even to bolt away from their owners. 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. 

Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe:

  • Check your fence to make sure that there are no loose boards, holes or other places where a frightened or bored dog could escape from. Starting the weekend before July 4th, consider taking your dog out on leash to go potty and exercise, even if it's just in the back yard.
  • Verify that your pets' tags and microchips have your current and updated information (and that your dog is licensed). 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. Share the photo with your petsitter so that they have it if needed.
  • 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.


Lost a Pet?

  • Make a lost pet report online or by calling 503-846-7039. 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.
  • Don't limit your search to your own county. Dogs and cats can end up miles away from where they went missing, and they certainly don't pay attention to county lines. Contact information for neighboring or nearby counties is listed on our area shelters resource page.
  • 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.
  • Search 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. Also check with your local pet-related businesses, such as veterinarians, pet supply companies and other local places where people might take a pet.
  • In addition to these tips, be sure to check out our page with lost pet search tips.

Found 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 on your home computer. Just go to our License Look-Up. When you type in the dog's license number, you'll get the phone number of the owner. Other counties have similar services. This can save you (and the dog) a trip to the shelter.
  • Make a found pet report online or by calling us at 503-846-7039. Contacting us increases the probability of reuniting an animal with its owner. Our shelter is where people look for their missing pets. Our staff will advise you on options for bringing the pet to our shelter or caring for it in your home until the owner is found. Most veterinary offices will also scan found pets free of charge, but be sure to call them first and follow any safety protocols they have in place.
  • In addition to these tips, be sure to check out our If You Have Found a Pet page.