"More dogs are lost during July 4th weekend than any other time of the year"--CITE?

I’d listen to their observations before yours.

I don’t think anybody captures data like this except shelters and rescues. It’s not like everyone fills out a National Institute of Standards and Technology questionnaire on what their dog did over the weekend every Monday morning.

But they’re fat! How can you trust them!

I get it, you want a quote from a study using principles and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis. The scientific principle.

So anecdotal reports from multiple organizations showing a large increase in strays doesn’t meet your criteria. Sure, got it.

Reality is, most shelters and care organizations are running on a shoestring budget and a thin staff. So, no one is taking the time to validate and collect this data. Given the choice of do I spend the next 3 hours capturing data, or do I spend the next 3 hours trying to figure out where all these dogs came from, and what to do with them? Most animal care volunteers will take option 2.

So, in this question, you may need to take the anecdotal as the best you are going to get. It is a real thing. Some, maybe even many, dogs react to loud noises with an irrational fear. You theorize that a scared dog will run TO home, not away from home. Anecdotally I can tell you that my Charlie, a rescued lab mix who was abused in a prior home, freaks out and runs without any rhyme or reason on where she is running. If she were outside my house or my fenced backyard, I have no doubt that a good thunderstorm would end with her being miles away from my house, with no idea how she got there, or where she is.

Moderator Note

russian heel, professional jabs are not permitted in General Questions (even if you don’t think they are professionals). No warning issued, but avoid this kind of jerkish comment in the future.

General Questions Moderator

Which brings to mind this famous video:


Well, slightly off-topic, but this might shed some light on your desire for science:

The American Veterinary Medical Association has said this of the most-frequently-cited study making claims about dog bites [bolding mine]:

Both AVMA and the CDC have issued statements disavowing that particular study, in part because they now recognize there is no scientifically accurate way to estimate the numbers or proportion of any given dog breed.

So if national scientific and medical bodies are on record as saying not just that they don’t know, but that they consider it unlikely they can ever scientifically determine, the total number of dogs and the proportions of each breed, your call for hard science on a much more complex issue seems…optimistic.

Anecdotal, but actual:

At the newspaper where I worked for 25 years, we got very few classified ads for lost dogs after the July 4th holiday. What we did get were many, many ads right after that first break in the weather, when it had been 20 degrees for two months and one morning it was miraculously 60. Everybody said “poor little Fifi has been cooped up all winter; let’s give her some fresh air and sunshine!”

Like clockwork, every year.

Of course, this may take into account that people just found their dogs quicker in July.

Our dog hates thunder and fireworks. She is at little risk of getting lost though. She has an amazing sense of where home is - and at the first noise, she will drag whoever has her out either home or to wherever the car is.