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Kitten on the Stairs

So Much More Than a Shelter-

Making changes--Creating a more compassionate community for people and pets.
Providing services and resources to help people and pets live better lives.

We envision a world where people and animals thrive together. We work with partners and individuals to provide accessible, affordable solutions for people and animals in the communities we serve.


With the 4th fireworks fast approaching, it's important to keep our pets safe.

We can all be aware of and ready to help reunite pets and parents.


Our Service Area
Allamakee     Clayton
  Fayette     Howard   Winneshiek

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Safety First for Cats & Dogs During the  Festivities

Fourth of July celebrations can be scary and traumatic for pets. While people are celebrating, pets don’t understand all the loud noises and booming explosions. Preparation is key. The safest place for pets is indoors in a secure room.

Help Keep Pets With Their Families Over the 4th of July

Provide a Safe Space
Create an escape-proof location that is comfortable and calm. Once fireworks start, keep pets in their comfort space. Set up an area away from doors and windows, e.g., in a basement or large closet where noise is muted. A crate may also help for dogs. Block outside sights and sounds as much as possible. Cats can be particularly sensitive to loud noises: keep them safe  indoors. Shut all doors and windows and lower blinds. Scared cats will push through screens and terrified dogs will bolt through screen doors to find a safe place to hide. Provide a comfy bed or protective bed, add toys for distraction and radio or television to compete with outside noise. Music and industrial-type fans help drown out fireworks noises. Keep pets indoors.
Desensitize Pets to Loud Sounds
Try positive re-enforcement to make loud noises less scary. Play recordings of fireworks and thunder while relaxing together. As the sounds play, toss your dog a treat. Start with low volume: fireworks are loud and often extremely scary for pets.
Learn to Identify Signs of Stress
Be alert for signs of stress. Talk to and reassure your pets--a pet camera may be helpful when you are outside. Fearful dogs may whine, pant, drool, pace, tremble, attach themselves to you, or look for a place to hide. Cats tend make themselves small, back into corners, and try to hide. They often hiss, growl, and swat if disturbed. Acknowledge this and understand when to provide comfort. Sometimes a calming collar or jacket eases anxiety. For extra anxious dogs and cats, visit your veterinarian to ask about medications and other ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
Make Sure Pet(s) are Easy to Identify
A current photo and ID lead to a faster path home for lost pets. Identification is extremely important: both dogs and cats take flight when they’re frightened. Keep collar ID tags up to date, use permanent ID + microchip, and update your pet recovery service about changes to contact information. A collar, tag, and microchip each identify an owner. For an extra layer of identification: use a Sharpie to write your contact # directly on the collar.
Provide Plenty of Exercise!
Tire pets out to lower anxiety levels. To prepare for fireworks, plan walks and play sessions earlier in the day before the fireworks begin. Give pets plenty of exercise, not just on fireworks day, but for the entire week leading up to it.
When Outside...
Keep Pets on Leashes--when you take your dog out for a potty break, go along and hold the leash--even in the yard--in case fireworks go off during this time.
Keep Curious Pets Away From Fire--not only are fireworks, sparklers, and glow sticks scary, they also contain hazardous chemicals that can burn when hot. Also keep pets away from barbecue grills, charcoal, matches, and lighter fluid.
Don’t Feed Table Scraps--avoid people-food scraps as it may cause stomach upset and exposure to toxic foods.
Watch for Signs  of Overheating--provide clean water and shade; do not leave unattended pets in vehicles.
Avoid Human Sunscreen and Insect Repellents--they can be extremely irritating to your pets' internal organs and central nervous system if ingested, including citronella, insect coils, and tiki torch products.
Pets & Fireworks
After the Holiday--check your yard before letting your pet outside to play, look for and remove all fireworks debris that is dangerous if ingested. Remove full trashcans, trash bags, beer cans, drink cups, and food scraps.
Keep Pets Inside and Comfortable--pets do not want to attend a 4th of July party! Fireworks can increase anxiety levels and cause extreme uncertainty. Scared pets can be afraid of everyone--including owners--and will seek shelter--usually away from people.
Do NOT Set Off Fireworks Around Pets--using fireworks around animals is dangerous, can cause injuries, and increases the likelihood of pets fleeing in a desperate attempt to feel safe.
Solely for information purposes: not to be considered health or professional advice. Individual situations and laws vary by jurisdiction: obtain advice from qualified professionals in applicable jurisdictions. No representations or warranties for any actions taken by any person and no liability for any resulting damages

I Lost My Dog or Cat

If you lose a pet, you can help speed its return to your home.
  1. Begin a search: grab a picture and your cell phone and start searching the immediate area where your pet was last seen. If you have multiple people and don't know where your pet went, spread out.
  2. If your pet has a microchip, contact your microchip registry company to let them know your pet is missing and to verify that your address, phone#, and other contact details are up to date.
  3. After searching the immediate area, widen the search: take a picture to show people you meet and ask them to contact you if they see your pet. Make it clear that you would like them to contact you immediately and not chase or follow your pet.
  4. Place familiar belongings outside to draw your pet home. Place your clothing and/or your pet's favorite blanket or bed outside in a sheltered area. You can also set a humane trap using tuna or other fragrant food. Cats are often drawn to the smell of their own litter boxes.
  5. Check crawl spaces, open areas under porches and decks, and other sheltered spots. Ask close neighbors to do the same. Check often to see if your pet has returned.
  6. Call local animal services/control agencies and check the social media pages of HSNEI and other local community pages for found pet posts.
  7. Posting flyers and newspaper may help.
  8. Check surrounding shelters and animal control agencies. Sometimes--with the best of intentions--people take your pet hours away from their home.
  9. Keep checking all places. Sometimes it takes time, especially if your pet was disoriented and/or is farther away from home. Be patient and don't give up hope.

I Found a Lost Dog or Cat

If you find a lost/stray pet, you can help speed its return home.

  1. If the pet is wearing identification, try to contact the owner.

  2. Whenever possible, keep the pet close to where your found it: 90+% of lost pets are within 1 mile of their home. Keep the pet in a safe, secure space separated from your own pets.

  3. Contact the closest veterinary clinic, animal shelter, police department, or sheriff's office that is open and ask them to scan for a microchip. If microchiped, the chip will contain the owner's contact information.

  4. Post FOUND LOST DOG or CAT with a picture and where you found the pet on social media. The above listed organizations can help get the word out by posting on their social media pages. You can also post on local community groups on Facebook. Before posting, check posts from people who have lost pets for a potential match.

  5. If you cannot keep the pet somewhere local, contact your local animal services/animal control agency. Local animal services/control agencies have authority through state and local laws to help and house stray pets. Your local animal services/control agency is the first place a pet owner will contact when looking for a lost pet.

  6. It’s important to note that HSNEI can only accept lost/stray pets by appointment--in support of local animal services/control agencies and the community.

2024 Funding Sponsors

The MICCIO Foundation Logo
Dalmatian Dog
Bissell Pet Foundation Logo

Help provide a safe refuge, medical care, and a new life for hundreds of dogs and cats every year.

Support HSNEI

Woof Trax
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Maddie's Pet Assistant Partner
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