San Diego County officials Wednesday reminded residents to keep a close eye on their dogs during Fourth of July fireworks shows.
Animal-shelter populations typically swell each year after pyrotechnic displays spook dogs, which also run the risk of being hit by a vehicle or attacked by another animal when they bolt from home.
Owners shouldn't underestimate their pet's ability to get loose, county Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa said
"Dogs can panic and they'll do anything to escape the noise," he said. "That includes digging under, climbing over or even breaking through gates, screens, fences, windows and doors."
Licensed and microchipped animals are more likely to be reunited with their owners.
Residents of unincorporated areas can get their dogs chipped for $10 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at county shelters in Carlsbad and Bonita.
Starting Sunday, the San Diego Humane Society started providing animal services for the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee and Solana Beach.
The Humane Society is offering free microchipping and is waiving reclaim fees until Sunday.
Officials also recommend that owners register their pets with Finding Rover, a free application that matches dogs faces with those that have been lost or found.