How to reunite with your lost pet after Fourth of July

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The days after the Fourth of July are always a busy time for animal shelters, because some pets scared of fireworks end up running away.

The Wichita Animal Shelter has seen 25 lost animals since the holiday, compared to last year at 45.

If pet owners realize their furry friend is missing, animal shelter staff said the reunion process is simple.

They recommend pet owners going into the animal shelter with a valid form of identification, plus veterinarian records or pictures of them and their pet – to prove ownership.

“Then what we will allow them to do is let them go back and look through the kennels,” said Lt. Brian Sigman, with Wichita Animal Control Services. “Once they find their animal, if it is here, then they come up to the front counter.”

Pet owners can also visit PetHarbor to see if their animal is listed. The website is updated every hour.

There is a $45 service fee to get an animal out of the shelter, plus an additional fee — that’s based on if the pet is microchipped, vaccinations and other factors.

Shelters only hold onto lost animals for six days, then it could be transferred to the Kansas Humane Society or another rescue group.

“They monitor our website. They monitor the pets that we have coming in,” explained Sigman. “If it gets down toward the end of that six days, they will usually notify us or the Humane Society that they want to put a hold on that animal, and then at that point they take possession of it.”

According to Sigman, 40% of animals are reclaimed by their owners and 30-40% transfer to the Kansas Humane Society or other rescue groups, and less than 20% are euthanized — that’s still a number the shelter would like to see go down.

“We just encourage every pet owner that they are up to date on their licensing, the microchip, make sure they’re all up to date on their shots, and any vet records. It’s invaluable. That’s all the information that helps us be able to do our job and help those pets get back.