Even if you cover your dog's ears, loud fireworks explosions will make them want to run. Lost dogs are such a regular post-Fourth of July occurrence that the county's animal shelters are offering fee-free amnesty for lost dogs through July 6. | Credit: Paul Wellman

Fireworks and dogs just don’t mix. The tremendous noise and burning smells just make them want to run, a phenomenon the shelters in Santa Barbara County are well aware of. The shelters filled with 88 lost dogs, after the Fourth of July celebratory skyrockets last year, said Stacy Silva of County Animal Services, which sees an increase in family pets every year.

To help reunite lost canines with their owners, the county shelters are declaring an amnesty for dogs brought in through July 6. They can be bailed out without the usual $75 to $300 impound fee, but only if they are lost. Dogs in the pound for biting, confiscation, or investigation must remain there; any medical treatment must also be paid. Owners should bring proof of ownership such as veterinary records, microchip information, or photographs in order to claim their dog.

Keeping a dog safely indoors during fireworks displays can keep you from losing them, or making sure they’re wearing their tags can make finding them faster. But if your dog goes missing after the Fourth, the county shelters are the first place to look. They can be found at: 5473 Overpass Road in Santa Barbara, 1501 West Central Avenue in Lompoc, and 548 West Foster Road in Santa Maria. Fireworks shows are starting at around 9 p.m. around the county.


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