July 5 proves to be busy for Valley animal shelters

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Friday is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters across the country and in the Valley, filled with dogs and cats.

Many of them ran away from home last night, frightened by the fireworks the night before. If they are lucky, however, they can find their way back home.

"They love him. They were so devastated when he was gone. He's back," said dog owner Maria Barazza.

The dog was found less than a mile from home. Charles Sousa called him "Rocky".

"I was walking through the front door and lo and behold, he was digging a hole in my flower pot," said Sousa.

"He's taken care of. I gave him a bath and eating good, and everything is good," Sousa told Barazza.

"I think he did get scared because of the fireworks. It's a 4th of July thing," said Barazza.

More than 30 dogs were brought to one county shelter overnight, in a matter of hours. Many were spooked by fireworks. Shelter staff scrambled to match dog to owner and owner to dog, using the latest mapping technology and checking for ID chips. Staff members became part dog protectors and part dog owner counselors.

"We're trying to console them, telling them about social media our posting, interactive map, scour the neighborhood. It's that desperation that we're trying to avoid," said Jose Santiago.

The dogs, however, only have 72 hours before they're put up for adoption. As of Friday afternoon, only two dogs were reunited with their owners.

As for Rocky, his real name is Kino, and he is now heading back home.

"He's special. He's sweet. The sweetest thing ever," said Barazza.

The best advice for pet owners on nights like July 4th and New Year's Eve is to keep them away from windows. Compression jackets are said to help, but mostly, owners should make sure their tags and chips are up to date.