Animal shelters seeing influx of dogs after the holiday weekend

- The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters are packed full of pets, as the shelters see an influx after the holiday weekend when many pets got lost.

"Every year, July 4th weekend, New Year's Eve weekend, when there is a lot of fireworks going on, we see it," said Jose Santiago with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. "Fireworks can spook the animals. They would either jump over a fence, they'll crawl under a fence."

It's a loud noise most dogs are not expecting to hear, so some tend to get away. This past weekend, there has been around 100 dogs turned over.

"We usually average, any day, between 30 and 40 dogs being brought in, total, with our trucks," said Santiago. "So, to have a hundred, that's a lot. That's normally triple than we usually see on a normal business day."

Leticia Hernandez has been looking for her mixed Chihuahua since New Year's Eve. After having zero luck at the East Valley shelter, she decided to head over to the shelter located in the West Valley.

"She disappeared on New Year's night," said Hernandez. "When we were outside, I think she got afraid of the fireworks, and then she just got out of the house. We tried to find her but we couldn't."   

While there are some people hoping to reconnect with their dogs, others are turning lost or stray dogs over to the shelters.

"I was at a gas station and she was just sitting there like shaking and scared, so I picked her up," said Jay Myers. "I didn't want her to get hit by a car or anything, so I brought her here."

Santiago said this wouldn't be a big problem if people license or microchip their dogs.

"If the dog has a license on it, that's an easy solution," said Santiago. "We can punch that license into our system, we can locate the owner of that dog, and return that dog right away. Same thing with a microchip."

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