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No dog gone

At least one local family had a very sad July 4 last year. As neighborhood revelers celebrated earlier in the week with fireworks and other loud noises, the sudden booms scared the family’s dog. He bolted through an electronic fence and ran around in an unfamiliar wooded area, finally emerging onto a well-traveled road.

The dog did not survive.

Most owners know if their dogs are skittish and make sure they’re in a secure spot when fireworks go off. But when people spread their celebration out several days, anything can happen.

More pets go missing over the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Animal shelters nationwide are flooded with runaway pets on the Fourth,” the ASPCA says.

Enter social media. There are several apps and devices for tracking dogs, and the maker of one product is promoting the hashtag #Lost4Dogs and a photo challenge. It urges dog owners to create a selfie of themselves and their dogs. Should the need arise, you have a photo to use when searching for your lost dog. Meanwhile, people are posting the photos this week to raise awareness. That’s a good idea.

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