Find your BFF at one of Tucson's shelters and rescue groups. These groups also need volunteers and donations.

On July 4, protect your little buddy Every year way too many dogs end up at the Pima Animal Care Center and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona after running away in a panic from the squeals, flashes and booms of Fourth of July fireworks. Here are some tips that all animal owners should follow this time of year:• Keep your animals at home and indoors. For animals with extreme sensitivity, create a den-like environment, such as a crate, room or walk-in closet free of windows.• If at all possible, remain home with your animals to provide comfort and security.• Turn on a TV or radio to provide soothing sounds that will distract your animals from outside noises.• Make sure all outside gates are latched. • Keep a well-fitted collar and identification on your pet.• Have your pet microchipped. If your animal does escape in a panic, check with the Pima Animal Care Center and the Humane Society. Visit and visit each shelter at least every other day.Source: Pima Animal Care Center and Humane Society of Southern Arizona.Heat advisoryWith Tucson's record stretch of consecutive 100-degree (or higher) days expected to stretch into next week, remember that animals feel the heat even more than you do.Dogs and cats not only have to deal with soaring temperatures wearing their fur coats, but they rely on panting to cool down. That isn't as effective as sweating, especially when they're breathing in hot air. It can be a particular problem for dogs with short muzzles, which are more prone to overheat because of compressed nasal passages.• Walks. Sidewalks and asphalt can be blistering in the summer heat. Heat rising off the pavement can rapidly elevate your dog's body temperature. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your pooch. Although it's important for dogs to have regular walks, schedule them in cooler times of the day.• Car safety. A parked car can rapidly become furnacelike. Even at 70 degrees, the temperature inside a car can reach 118 degrees. On days in the mid-90s, inside temperatures will reach 145 degrees. Never leave your pet in a parked car, even with the windows open. It's against the law and it can be deadly.• Short cuts. Many dogs see their groomer for summer-friendly clips, but don't go too short, particularly if you have a light-colored dog with pink skin. Dogs can get sunburned. If your dogs are going to be out in the sun, make sure they have access to shade and plenty of water. Consider using sunscreen on areas without as much hair - but make sure it's free of zinc oxide.• If your pet shows any signs of heat stroke - excessive panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, impaired movement - take him to the vet right away to avoid complications.Source: Pima Animal Care Center.VolunteerLearn more about volunteering at the Pima Animal Care Center at an open house from 11 a.m. until noon today. It will take place in the doublewide trailer behind the shelter and clinic at 4000 N. Silverbell Road.• The center also needs donated towels and canned food.• Call Volunteer Coordinator José Ocaño at 243-5920 if you have additional questions.