MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU) - More than a hundred animals have been dropped off at the Contra Costa County shelter in less than a week, likely due to the animals being scared by 4th of July fireworks.
Stefani Buzzard with Contra Costa Animal Services in Martinez said the agency is now working to return the pets to their rightful owners. July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year at shelters nationwide, according to Buzzard.
On Wednesday, the shelter set up “Mission Reunite” booths and passed out neon signs to help reunite people with their lost pets.
Craig Knox said he found a poodle mix with a blue collar at his home in Pittsburg. He brought the dog to the shelter to check if it had a chip.
“He was actually roaming around in our front yard,” Knox said. “It was late July 3rd and there were fireworks going off in the neighborhood.”
Another dog was brought to the shelter by Matthew Baker who found the animal in downtown Martinez.
“He was real sweet,” Baker said of the dog. “We went around to a bunch of neighbors to see if he got out of a party or if someone was visiting with him. No one seemed to recognize him or know where he came from.”
Buzzard said the shelter has taken in 150 animals since Friday and that number is expected to grow. Most of the animals are dogs who got spooked by fireworks.
“They take off running and they can sometimes travel outside their city limits,” she said. “Indoor-only cats, if they get out, they tend to stick close to home within a 5 house radius. They don't travel far.”
Buzzard said even the most responsible owners can lose a pet, but they want to help the animals find their way back home.
“I just hope he has a family and someone to care for him and love him,” Knox said. “I hope they find the family.”
If you have lost a pet and believe it may be at Contra Costa Animal Services, you are advised to claim the animal quickly. Most of the animals will be eligible for adoption in 4 to 10 days.