Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter open Fourth of July weekend for lost and found pets

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 29, 2020

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Animal Services Division

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter in Hillsboro will be open for limited services on the Fourth of July from 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. and on Sunday, July 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. During these times:

  • Owners may reclaim their pets from the shelter.
  • Finders may bring in lost or stray dogs.
  • Stray cats may be brought in by appointment only. Call 503-846-7039.

Even with large fireworks displays and gatherings cancelled this year due to COVID-19, local stores and stands are still selling fireworks. Pet owners should expect to hear bangs and booms in their neighborhoods that may terrify their pet. Fireworks may cause pets to panic and escape from their normal enclosures or even to bolt away from their owners. Even pets who have never seemed bothered by loud noises before can develop new fears. 

“We certainly hope that this Fourth of July will be the quietest one the shelter has ever had, but it is still important for us to be here to care for any pets who do come in and to help them get home as quickly as possible,” says Animal Behavior & Outreach Coordinator Jen Keene. “It’s also important for pet owners to be proactive and not just assume their pet will be okay. The best time to act to protect your pets from the dangers of fireworks is before they start.” 

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Avenue in Hillsboro. It’s just off TV Highway by Lowe’s and Home Depot. Shelter staff wear face coverings and follow physical distancing guidelines and request that visitors do the same. 

Tips to keep pets safe

  • Check your fence to make sure there are no loose boards, holes or other places where a frightened or bored dog could escape. 
  • Verify that your pets' tags and microchips have your current and updated information (and that your dog is licensed). You can also register your chip at www.FoundAnimals.org for free to increase your chances of being contacted. 
  • Talk to your veterinarian about whether medications could be helpful. 
  • Make sure you have a good current photo of your pet in case you need to make lost pet posters. 
  • Keep your pet indoors, preferably crated or in a quiet interior room. If they need to go outside to go to the bathroom, keep them on leash, even in your own yard. 
  • Play music or run a fan to try to drown out the noise.

What to do if you lose a pet

  • Make a lost pet report by going to the shelter’s website or by calling 503-846-7039. Shelter staff can then compare your pet’s details to reports of found pets and help match you up with a finder as quickly as possible, and sometimes without the pet even needing to come to the shelter. 
  • Look online to see which animals are currently at the shelter and keep checking back.
  • Don't limit your search to your own county. Dogs and cats can end up miles away from where they went missing. Contact nearby and neighboring counties.
  • Check out social media. Sites such as NextDoor and Facebook can help. There are several pet lost and found Facebook pages, such as "Lost and Found Pets Hillsboro" and "Lost/Found Pets Washington County." Craigslist also has sections for lost and found pets. 
  • Search in your neighborhood as soon as you know your pet is missing. Post fliers with your pet's photo and your phone number on them. Also check with your local pet-related businesses, such as veterinarians, pet supply companies and other local places where people might take a pet. 

What to do if you find a pet

  • If you find a stray dog or cat, assume that it is someone's beloved pet that has accidentally gotten away and not a "dumped" or neglected animal. 
  • If a dog has a Washington County license, you can look up the owner on the county's website. Just go to License Look-Up. When you type in the dog's license number, you'll get the phone number of the owner. Other counties have similar services. 
  • File a lost pet report on the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter website or by calling us at 503-846-7039. This will increase the probability of reuniting an animal with its owner. Our staff will advise you on options for bringing the pet to the shelter or caring for it in your home until the owner is found. 
  • Most veterinary offices will scan found pets for a microchip free of charge, but be sure to call first and follow any protocols they have in place.  
  • Ask around. You can also put up a "Found Pet" sign in your own front yard, where an owner might see it if they are out searching.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Keene, Animal Behavior & Outreach Coordinator
503-846-7141
jennifer_keene@co.washington.or.us