July 4th and New Years are the days that animal shelters (and many pet owners) dread the most. These holidays are often associated with fireworks which, though beautiful, create a very scary situation for our pets.
Pets tend to flood animal shelters around these holidays, particularly July 4th, because the noise generated from the firework displays is frightening and pets will often run off, sometimes breaking windows and slipping out of collars and leashes to escape.
If there is one thing I can recommend to people who have pets, it is to make sure that your pet is microchipped and the information is up to date. If your pet escapes from its collar, then the microchip is the only thing tying you to your pet. Animal shelters scan animals for microchips upon admission and they will do everything in their power to trace down owners until they reach a dead end. Having your information current means you can be reunited sooner and with less of a hassle.
A few weeks ago, a cat came to me in the morning as a transfer from the emergency clinic that handles our after-hours medical care. The cat was a male, black cat that was blocked (unable to urinate), in very poor condition in the emergency clinic, and remained in very poor condition upon coming into our care at the San Jose Animal Care Center.
Most cats that come to the emergency clinic in this kind of poor condition without any identification are at risk of being euthanized. This cat, however, had a microchip, so the emergency clinic received authorization to spend more than our normal limit per animal on this cat, because we had reason to believe this cat had a home!