NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Each year animal shelters report an increase in lost animals after the 4th of July.

PETA spokeswoman Virginia Fort offered some advice for pet owners.

“Leave your animals at home during the celebrations; don’t take them with you to watch the firework displays,” she suggested. “Never leave animals tethered or chained outside. Make sure your animal is wearing its collar or harness with an up to date identification tag.”

To dogs, cats, and other animals, the Independence Day celebrations can seem more like World War III than summertime entertainment.

“Fireworks are designed to look and sound like bombs,” Fort reminded. “Animals don’t have any idea that they’re not bombs bursting in the air. They become terrified and they panic.”

If left unattended, many dogs and cats will panic and runaway to escape the noise.

Fort says an easy way to keep your pet safe during the festivities is to keep them inside, with music or a television playing to help drown out the sound of the fireworks.

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