CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Dmitri Welch, Hawaiian Humane Society incoming supervisor, showed off a golden retriever yesterday that was found lost on the Fourth of July. The dog was microchipped and the owners were contacted. CLICK FOR LARGE
Fireworks vex Rex but chips bring him home
Whenever there are fireworks, there is an explosion of frightened and lost pets at the Hawaiian Humane Society.
New Year's Eve and Fourth of July are the Humane Society's busiest times of the year -- with waves of good Samaritans dropping off petrified pets and animal control workers picking up dogs that ran away from the fireworks explosions.
"Traditionally, we see a larger number of lost animals because they're terrified of fireworks," said Alicia Malufiti, Humane Society spokeswoman. "The numbers of lost pets on days after fireworks are overwhelming, compared to the rest of the year. We really push people to microchip their pets."
On average, about seven animals are dropped off a day. On the Fourth of July this year, the Humane Society received 18 dogs, and 15 more yesterday.
Luckily, all the pets had a microchip implant, which has contact information for the owners. There was a rush between 5:30 and 10 a.m. for owners to claim their pets, said Dmitri Welch, the Humane Society's incoming supervisor. "It was nonstop," she said.
"The dogs get loose, and most of the time they'll wander into the next-door neighbor's house," Welch said. "They're just looking for a quick place to hide."
Though many owners think drugging a pet will do, many dogs still manage to run away. They break out of homes and tear off their chains just to get away from the thunderous noise, Welch said.
When all preventative measures fail, Malufiti said, the best thing is to have a microchip implanted in pets and keep the information updated.
Next month is the society's annual microchip awareness campaign. For just $5, owners can have the device implanted in their pet at certain veterinary offices.
Welch also suggests writing the pet's name and owner's phone number on the collar to make it easier to return lost animals without even going to the Humane Society.