July 4 celebrations land family pets in animal shelters

(FOX19) - The picnics are over and the parties are cleaned up.  The 4th of July holiday is officially over.  But, for some families, the holiday wasn't a celebration.
A lot of times, the beautiful, colorful explosions over the night sky don't necessarily mix with your family pet, especially dogs.
"We see it around Labor Day, Memorial Day, too.  It seems that this area really loves their fireworks.  But, the dogs don't," said Dan Evans of the Kenton County Animal Shelter.
A lot of times those explosions will send your dog running, only to be found in a shelter.

"It's definitely something we planned for, something that we're looking out for and know.  It's almost like the dread that if a holiday happens on a Friday, we dread the Monday coming in because we know the numbers are going to increase," said Evans.

On July 5, the day after the holiday, Kenton County took in seven dogs, which is actually lower than other years.  In Butler County, the numbers are much higher.

"This year was just like every other.  We took in about 15 dogs over the course of Friday the fourth into Saturday the fifth.  Still hoping that people will come look for their pets.  We've only reunited about three of those," said Meg Stephenson of the Animal Friends Humane Society.

Do these numbers put either of these places at capacity?  No. But it doesn't help.

"We accept animal regardless of our space.  Having an intake of 15 dogs in a matter of two days is quite large and does put a burden on our capacity," said Stephenson.

It's not just the Independence Day holiday or the fireworks that have family pets showing up at shelters.  Owners are also giving up their pets. Of the seven dogs that showed up at the shelter in Kenton County on Saturday, five of them were given up by their owners.

"Holidays, people worry about relatives coming over, friends coming over, and 'What am I going to do with the dog?'  It may sound silly, but we've actually seen it to be true," Evans told FOX19.

People have been at these shelters looking for their pets already.  For those who don't, there's just one hope.

"Our hope is that we can either find the owners that are missing them, or find them new families that will care for them for their lifetime," said Stephenson.

If your dog is missing, call your local shelter immediately.

Laws vary from state to state about how long a shelter must hold your animal before putting it up for adoption. In Butler County, Stephenson says stray dogs not wearing a current county license need to be claimed within 72 hours before the animal's ownership becomes that of the humane society's.

With a current county license, Ohio law requires the dog be held for 14 days before transferring ownership to the shelter and being put up for adoption, according to Stephenson.
In Kentucky, and Kenton County, Evans says there is a 5 day holding period before ownership is transferred to the shelter, and the animal is put up for adoption.  Evans says he expects to extend the deadline to claim your missing animal until Monday, July 14.
Eventually, depending on a number of factors like health and the animal's demeanor, it could be euthanized.

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