Ardmore animal shelter prepares for more strays near Independence Day

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - When the rockets red glare, four legged family members can get scared and run away.

Dog owner Don Miller experienced this first hand when his large husky, named Christmas, took off the first Fourth of July Miller had him.

"He was gone," Miller said. "I didn't know what happened. I found out that he squeezed in a space about that big."

And questions raced through his mind.

"He's a new dog," Miller said. "Will I be able to find him? I was so worried about him."

Miller was able to find Christmas five blocks away and now makes sure he is inside for this Fourth of July, wearing his ID tag.

Ardmore Animal Care usually takes in around 25 dogs each year who have ran away because of fireworks.

Director Kasey Renteria said the greatest risk is around the holiday, not the day itself.

"People shoot off fireworks more than just one day," Renteria said. "A lot people shoot them off in the days before and days after, when people aren't expecting it, and that is when the animals tend to run off and escape."

The shelter says to make sure pets afraid of fireworks are inside or in cages and to have music or the TV at a comfortable volume to drown out the noise.

People should also let their neighbors know when they plan to shoot fireworks so they can prepare their pets.

Renteria warns not to medicate to calm pets down without talking to a veterinarian first.

Ardmore is currently shorthanded on animal control officers, but the city hopes to add another to the staff before the fourth.

"And so it is going to become an issue as far as strays, animals that have been hit by cars and just being left on the road," Renteria said. "All of that's going to becoming into effect soon with the holiday coming up."