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Fourth of July a common time for pets to flee

Friday - 7/5/2013, 4:52am  ET

WASHINGTON - Just as the day after Thanksgiving sees more traffic at local gyms and the day after Christmas is busy for retailers, the day after the Fourth of July is a busy one for animal shelters across the country.

Lots of dogs who are frightened by fireworks run away to escape the bombs bursting in air, which can be a lot less thrilling for them than they are for humans.

Last year, a pit bull mix named Tiger decided he'd had enough of the fireworks and took off running. Luckily for him, he ran straight to the police, according to a p ost on the police department's Facebook page.

Montgomery County Police Officer Rebecca Innocenti said a county officer had opened the door of her patrol car when Tiger suddenly jumped into it. He didn't have an ID tag, but when he was taken to the local shelter, he was recognized right away: he'd been adopted out of the very same place.

Not every story ends so successfully or so quickly, but local shelters are working to make sure any lost pets make it home safely.

Here are some tips from a local animal shelter on how to recover a lost pet:

  • Call area shelter to report a lost pet. They will take your name and your pet's description in case it ends up in a shelter.

  • Search your house and yard. A pet could be hiding right under your nose.

  • Walk through your neighborhood. Going door-to-door, calling your pet's name and bringing your pet's favorite toy can help during the search.

  • Consider calling and visiting other shelters in the area. Pets who are found are not always taken to a shelter in the jurisdiction where they are found.

  • Keep current identification tags on your pet with up-to-date names, addresses and phone numbers.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @kateryanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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