CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry animal shelters are reminding pet parents to pay extra attention to their animals during Independence Day celebrations.

According to the Charleston Animal Society, more dogs and cats go missing on July 4 than any other holiday. Largely outdoor celebrations and loud noises don’t mix well for animals, who can be easily spooked and take off.

Charleston Animal Society suggests keeping pets inside and making sure doors are securely shut if humans are frequently coming and going. If pets join outdoor celebrations, owners should make sure harnesses and leashes are secured.

Before the fireworks start, make sure pets have their tags on and that the tags are up-to-date with accurate contact information.

If a pet does go missing, Charleston Animal Society says to take immediate action and follow these tips:

  • Post a picture of your pet on PetcoLoveLost.org, a FREE service that will use facial recognition to locate your pet.
  • Immediately search your neighborhood.
  •  Put up signs with a picture of your pet, his or her name and other important information.
  • Post a picture and information about your pet’s last known whereabouts on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Visit Charleston Animal Society at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston to see if your pet has been picked up by animal control or a concerned citizen and brought to the shelter.
  • Visit CharlestonAnimalSociety.org/lost-dogs or CharlestonAnimalSociety/lost-cats.

Charleston Animal Society is offering “pet amnesty” July 5 though 8, meaning any lost animal that is brought to the shelter can be reclaimed without a fee.

Dorchester Paws will be waiving reclaim fees through July 8 as well.

Berkeley Animal Center will be waiving reclaim fees July 5 through July 9 and will post intake pictures on their Facebook page.