Shelters slammed with dogs who ran away from home during fireworks

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — According to Pet Amber Alert, more pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year.

On July 5, in the aftermath of the celebrations, shelters are taking in scared, lost dogs.

In Johnson County, they report that this was one of the worst years for runaway dogs.

It’s hard for the shelter director to pinpoint why this is a worse year than others for runaways, but many dogs have ended up with them in the aftermath of the fireworks.

They hope people show up to bring their pets back home.

During his Fourth of July holiday, Johnson County resident Pat Hagan had an extra addition join his household.

“I was walking one of my labs on my property and saw a stray,” Hagan said, “It was obviously scared.”

A white male bulldog followed him home.

“We went back up to the house and about ten minutes later it was laying in my garage behind my trash cans,” Hagan said.

He could tell the animal was scared, but in good shape and well taken care of.

“My assumption is during the course of the fireworks that it got out of its house somehow and ended up at my property,” Hagan said.

He left the garage door open overnight, but the dog was still there in the morning.

So Hagan called Johnson County Animal Control to bring him to the shelter, to hopefully be reunited with his owners.

“We’re hoping, that’s why we brought it here,” Hagan said.

At the shelter they call these animals “fireworks dogs.”

They are all pets that have run away during the loud celebrations.

“They’re terrified and being brought in here it’s a little more of a shell shock for them,” Shelter Director Michael Delp said.

If the dog has ID, sometimes the officers can find its owners without bringing it to the shelter.

But many dogs didn’t have any identification.

“We always want people to have either ID on the animals, like a collar and tag, or at the very least, microchip your animal,” Delp said.

Fireworks dogs are treated as strays and will be held five days before possibly being put up for adoption.

But the shelter director said this time of year they try to work with the families.

“If somebody shows up seven days or eight days afterward and the animal is still here, of course we want to reunite that animal with it’s owner,” Delp said.

In Muncie, animal control has picked up at least two dozen runaway dogs since July 1.

Hancock County Animal Control took a few dogs in just on Tuesday.

In Fort Wayne, animal care and control was flooded with nearly 100 lost pets over the weekend.

If you’re missing a dog, call your local city or county shelter to check if someone has brought in your pet.

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