Philadelphia, PA (July 3, 2020) – While Fourth of July fireworks displays are cancelled in many communities due to the pandemic, residents of many cities are reporting repeated fireworks being set off. As Philadelphia heads into a modified green phase, ACCT Philly urges the community to consider the impact of fireworks on animals. Fireworks and other commotion can be stressful to pets and can result in them getting lost. ACCT Philly urges the following tips to help keep pets safe:

    • Leave pets at home and inside. Fireworks can be terrifying to pets, even pets who are accustomed to being around people and commotion.

    • Create a home sanctuary. Secure your pet in an area of your home where he or she is safe, comfortable and sheltered from any outside noise and lights. An interior room without immediate access to the outside is preferred. Playing a radio with relaxing music may help mask the sound of fireworks.

    • Pet-proof your home. When scared, some animals may become destructive so be sure to remove anything from reach that can become damaged or may harm the pet if chewed or eaten.

    • Identification is essential. Pets may panic, escape and become lost. Updated identification is critical to ensuring lost pets are reunited with their families:
               1. Make sure your pet is at minimum wearing a tag.
               2. If they are microchipped, ensure that registration information is up to date.
               3. Register your pet for free with as another way to protect your pet if they become lost.
    • If you see a lost pet. If you cannot catch them safely, make note of any details such as if they’re wearing a collar, and the cross streets where they were seen. Share those details right away in your community forums such as NextDoor and on Craigslist to help their owners know where they were last seen. Also, call ACCT Philly at (267) 385-3800 ext 1 so we can dispatch an Animal Protection Officer to help. 

    • If you lose your pet. File a lost report with ACCT Philly, and look at our found pets to see if we have your pet. Check your local neighborhood forums, hang posters with your cell phone number, and post on social media. As soon as you can, visit the shelter to see if your pet is with us. We’re open daily 10am-6pm. Please remember to wear a mask and because we are only permitting a limited number of clients in at a time, there may be a short wait.

    • Follow the advice of public health officials. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many states, the safest thing you can do for you and your pet is to follow the guidance of public health authorities by wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and staying home as much as possible. Keeping you and your family away from the virus increases your health and safety, and your ability to care for your pets.

“We hear from many frantic pet owners who lose their pets over the Fourth of July holiday, and it’s heartbreaking,” says Aurora Velazquez, Executive Director, ACCT Philly. “We hope that by being proactive, together we can decrease the number of pets who are lost over this holiday.

Residents are encouraged to consider celebrating the holiday without fireworks, which can frighten wildlife as well as pets. However, regardless of how your family celebrates, it is important to take steps to ensure the safety of your pet on a notoriously loud night.   


Media Contact:
Sarah Barnett, Director, Communications and Development

ACCT Philly is Philadelphia’s largest open admissions shelter and the nonprofit organization is the only animal care and control provide for the city of Philadelphia. The shelter takes in more than 18,000 animals of all kinds – furry, feathered, finned or scaled – each year. You can learn more about ACCT Philly at or on social media at @ACCTPhilly.