(JUNE 18, 2024) — With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, it’s important all pets are microchipped in case festivities of the holiday cause them to run away.

“In the days after the July 4 holiday, we see numerous lost pets. Dogs can easily get spooked by the loud noises caused by fireworks and break free from their home, back yard or the family vacation spot like a campground,” said Cherokee Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia. “We chip all Cherokee County pets for free, so they have a better chance of making their way back home should they get lost.”

No appointment is necessary for microchipping, and the process does not take long. Residents should visit the Animal Shelter Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. to have their pets microchipped.

“Any animal with a subcutaneous skin can be microchipped including dogs, cats and rabbits. We’ve even seen llamas,” said Katherine Kekel, who serves as the trainer at the Cherokee Animal Shelter. “Our goal is to have every animal in Cherokee County microchipped so there is no such thing as a stray animal in Cherokee County.”

If a pet becomes lost, the owner should visit cherokeega-animals.org and fill out the lost and found form, which is automatically emailed to the Shelter’s intake department. A lost report will be created and if that animal is picked up by Animal Control as a stray or brought in by another party, the Shelter has the animal’s description and information. Additionally, if a pet is microchipped, Animal Control or the Shelter staff can scan the animal and get the owner’s information and notify them.

“Even if you fill out the lost and found form, it’s still important to give us a call and stop by to see if your pet is here,” Garcia said. “Our staff strives to reunite every lost pet with their proper owners, but it is best if you come in person to check for your pet. This is another reason why microchipping your pet is extremely important.”

By county ordinance, all animals are kept for 120 hours before it is evaluated for rescue or adoption.

As with all county offices, the Animal Shelter is closed to the public on July 4; however, a lost pet form filled out on the Shelter’s website still will be sent to the intake staff to create a report.

To learn more about the microchipping process, click here view the video “Microchipping Your Pet” on Cherokee County’s YouTube channel.


Located 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Cherokee County is part of the 11-county metro-Atlanta area. Cherokee County boasts a population of more than 286,000, according to the July 2023 Census estimates. It is the one of the fastest growing counties in the metro region and its overall Board of Commissioners-controlled tax burden per capita is one of the lowest in the region.  Cherokee County has award-winning parks and recreational facilities, is a destination for corporate headquarters and is a great place to live, work and play. Cherokee County is the best of both worlds because it’s where “Metro Meets the Mountains.” Learn more at cherokeega.com.

Media Contact: Erika Neldner

Communications Director