Firework Safety for Pets

Fireworks pet safety infographic

With fireworks booming, The New Year and Independence Day holidays can be frightening times for your pets. Sadly, it’s common to lose pets during this time. Ahead of the holiday, Multnomah County Animal Services wants to remind pet owners about services and resources to help reunite them with their pets quickly, as well as tips to keep your pets safe during fireworks displays.


If Your Pet is Lost

  1. Upload your pet’s photo
  2. Enter a few details about your pet
  3. Enter your name, email address, and zip code
  • Look around your neighborhood for your lost pet
    • In a survey of Multnomah County community members who found their lost pets, 36% found them at large, wandering the neighborhood.
    • Put out fragrant wet food to try and lure your pets back home.
  • Inform your neighbors and seek their help to find your lost pet. 
    • 35% of lost pets are reunited with help from neighbors who find them, see posters and provide tips, or see their lost pet report at
    • Distribute posters with your lost pet’s photo and information door to door, and around your neighborhood. Ask for tips.
    • Post to Nextdoor, Facebook, and other social media resources to engage with members of your neighborhood. Find online groups and forums dedicated to finding lost pets in your area.

Firework Safety Basics For Pets

Be prepared to help your pets through their fears during fireworks displays.

  • Safety and Prevention: Never bring pets to firework displays or leave them locked in cars while you watch.
  • Be present: One of the best things you can do for your pets is to be present for them. You can calm them better than a pet-sitter or a kennel staff member. When you see that they’re afraid, call to them. Go to your pet, or invite them to join you where you are. Give them rubs and scratches. Talk with them. Be silly with them. Play their favorite games. Turn a scary experience into a learning opportunity. (source)
  • Secure your home: Plan ahead, and identify ways your pet could escape. Close open windows and doors. Don’t leave pets outdoors where they could jump a fence, or indoors near screen doors and windows if they panic and bolt. Make sure guests coming and going are careful not to let pets slip through the door. (source)
  • Give your pet a safe space: Give your pet a confined, safe space in the center of your home, such as a spacious closet or a bathroom with a comfortable bed and water. (source)
  • Use ambient noise: Play comforting music, or noise from a radio or TV. (source)
  • Seek help from a veterinarian: If your pet has a history of fear or anxiety with loud noises, including fireworks, talk with your veterinarian about your options. They may be able to prescribe medication to help calm your pet. They may also recommend a Thunder Shirt or wrap to calm and provide comfort. (source)
  • Make sure your pets are licensed so MCAS can contact you as soon as they arrive at the shelter. Licensing can be done online at
  • Make sure pets are wearing collars with tags, and that the contact information on the tag is current.
  • Microchip your pet and update your contact information with the microchip registry. Microchipping is a powerful tool to reunite lost pets with owners if lost.
  • Register your pets on to use facial recognition technology to help locate them if ever lost. 

Shelter Holiday Closure

Multnomah County Animal Services will be closed on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

About Multnomah County Animal Services

Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) is the only open door shelter in Portland. MCAS is the primary agency responsible for lost pet care, animal abuse investigations and animal rescue in Multnomah County. MCAS also offers dog and cat licensing, lost and found pet services, and animal adoptions through its shelter in Troutdale. MCAS is a division of the Multnomah County Department of Community Services (DCS).