PHOENIX- Every July 5th, animal shelters all across Arizona fill up with dogs and cats, terrified and trembling in confusion. Most scared away from home during Fourth of July firework shows.
“This is our busiest day. Fireworks started on Friday and since then, we've received more than 200 dogs at our Phoenix & Mesa locations," said Melissa Gable of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.
Today, MCACC is expecting at least 300 more dogs to show up.
“Trying to make kennel space for all of these dogs is keeping our staff on their toes," Gable said.
So, if you found a pet, what should you do?
“If you are able to safely contain it at your house, you can call us and we will come out and get the dog, or you can drop it off at one of our shelters," Gable said.
And if you lost a pet?
“Make sure you visit the local shelters in person," Gable said. "Don't wait though-- once that 72-hour period is up, your pet could go up for adoption and be living in someone else's home by next week."
There’s also a variety of online tools you can use to find your lost pet or post about a lost pet. Try searching for your pet on www.petharbor.com, or visit www.maricopa.gov/pets where you'll find an online interactive map that allows you to see all of the missing pets along with photos, location and other information.
Lost Dogs Arizona is also a great resource, and they have teams on site this week at the Phoenix MCACC shelter.
"Lost Dogs Arizona has been at our Phoenix location since July 1. They are here to assist you in making signs, providing you with resources and helping reunite pets with their family.
Overall, it’s always recommended to avoid taking your pets to firework shows, but the most important advice?
“Make sure your dog is always wearing an ID and that the tags are securely fastened, and a microchip is always a great thing to have just in case that collar comes off," Gable said.