Animal Shelters Responding to Surging Number of Runaway Pets - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Animal Shelters Responding to Surging Number of Runaway Pets

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PASCO, Wash. - Animal shelters in the area are responding to a surging number of missing pets.

The day after the 4th of July is one of their busiest. The fireworks can confuse them and cause them to run from home.

"Any time you have an owner that actually takes the time to come look, when they find their pet they're extremely happy. It's the ones who don't care that you're concerned about," said Angela Zilar with the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter.

The animal shelter in Pasco already has almost four times as many lost and found reports Thursday than they are used to.

"Well the majority of people who have lost their pets did not have them in an inside secure location, they had them outside," Zilar said.

Zilar says the loud booming sounds of fireworks can scare dogs so much that they become confused an run away.

"One year they might be perfectly fine with it, but then the next year they might be absolutely terrified of it," Zilar said.

"When I find an animal in the field, I look for a micro-chip or any kind of identifying thing on their collar and we peruse that all the way to the end," said animal control officer Chris Brainerd.

While sometimes a dog is not always paired up with an owner, the people at the shelter say they love when they can successfully reunite people with their pets.

"Most people think that their dog is in danger or injured or never going to come back and then you bring them an animal and it's a great feeling to see them reunited with their little family member," Brainerd said.

"A few minutes ago somebody walked out with a dog that they had reported missing last night and the dog come in today and so they got their dog back," Zilar said.

In addition to reporting a lost or found animal to the shelter, the people at the shelter say that online resources like Facebook and Craigslist have been incredibly helpful in linking up people with their lost pets.