Maricopa County Animal Care and Control urging residents to check shelters for lost pets

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 20:47:53-04

Animal shelters are overflowing with pets that were spooked away from home by Independence Day fireworks.

July 5th is the busiest day for the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter. By 3 p.m. Tuesday, they took in 100 strays and more were still coming into the facility. 

Pet owners filled the lobby, emotional and anxious to find out whether their dogs were brought in after a long night searching the streets.

"[Until] like 3 a.m. we stopped, and then we started again this morning. Her name's Delilah," said Anthony Begor, who was holding a flyer of his missing puppy. 

The loud Fourth of July fireworks made pets, which weren't secured indoors, bolt.

"I think she got spooked by the fireworks and took off," Begor said. 

"It was supposed to be a holiday weekend, but all we could do was cry," said Sonia Sanders, who was searching for her family's dog. Her family is one of dozens who were searching the shelter, kennel by kennel, to find their pet. She was lucky to be reunited with her dog, "Jelly." 

But for others, the search continues. 

The Campbell family found a dog in an alley, scared by fireworks. They turned it in, hoping his owner will claim him. 

"He's got a collar, but they didn't put any tags on him, and no chip," Kelly Campbell said.

In order to take your animal home, you must bring proof of ownership, such as veterinarian documents, vaccination records or photos.

Even though the fireworks are over, it's still important to make sure your pets are identified with microchips or collar identification so that they can be returned.

"We're still in monsoon season, and there's going to be a lot of thunder, and that's another thing that's going to trigger dogs and scare them," said Melissa Gable, public information officer with the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control shelter. 

Pets that are brought to the shelter are kept for 72 hours. After that, they'll either be rescued by another organization, put up for adoption or they can even be euthanized if they are aggressive or unhealthy.