Several July 4th runaway dogs remain unclaimed

SAN DIEGO — Nearly two dozen dogs rounded up after July 4 fireworks shows remain unclaimed in county of San Diego animal shelters as of Tuesday.

Dogs often run off in fright because of the booms generated by Independence Day pyrotechnics. County animal control says the following day is typically their busiest of the year.

The county reported that from 9 p.m. on July 4 through July 8, animal control officers and residents brought in 191 stray or lost dogs to county shelters. Of those, just 94 were claimed by their owners.

According to the county, owners of animals with identification were notified by phone and by mail. The shelters are only required to hold those dogs for five business days.

For some owners, that time period ended last week and the dogs started going up for adoption. County Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa told City News Service that around 60 dogs have been adopted.

“We still have many dogs that weren’t picked up by their owners,” DeSousa said. “We’d rather reunite these dogs with their proper owners, but if they’re not claimed within the required time period, then we must change our focus and get these animals into new homes.”

If an owner discovers his or her dog has been adopted, shelter workers can ask the new owner if they wouldn’t mind returning the pet, but the adopter is under no legal obligation to do so, DeSousa said.

People who lost a dog can check the county Animal Services lost-and- found website, the adoption page or visit shelters in Bonita, Carlsbad and San Diego to see if their runaway pets are there.

Officials also recommended that owners check shelters in surrounding cities because dogs can run from one jurisdiction to another. Another option is to check the free facial recognition app, Finding Rover, to see if their dogs have been found.