GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is offering a special deal through the Fourth of July in anticipation of taking in more stray animals. 

The shelter usually sees a spike around the holiday because fireworks will often cause frightened cats and dogs to run away, according to Misty Valenta.

“Mostly dogs run out of fear of fireworks, or a family is having a celebration,” Valenta, who works as the shelter’s community programs coordinator, said.” There are people walking in and out of the house or in and out of a gate, and they slip out — all accidental things, but things that can be avoided if we take precautions.” 

Because of the increased intake, the shelter is waiving adoption fees for cats and dogs so that it can free up more kennel space. 

“As an open intake shelter, we get stray animals in every single day,” Valenta explained, “so any day that there is a spike in that number, it’s hurting resources. This year we are being preemptive.”

Experts are offering advice to pet owners about keeping their animals safe around the Fourth of July holiday.

They suggest keeping pets indoors because even dogs in fenced yards can find ways to escape the scary sounds. They also say to give pets a safe, comfortable place to hide, like a crate.

They say pet owners can leave a television or radio playing because the ambient noise can put pets at ease. Veterinarians also say people should update their pets’ identification tags or microchips just in case they get loose.