Post-New Year, shelters scramble to reunite lost pets with owners

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hundreds of Phoenix-area pet owners have been scrambling to track down their animals after the New Year's celebrations.

Every year, when fireworks go off, pets get spooked and take off. 

Many of those pets end up at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, waiting for their owners to pick them up. 

MCACC says they picked up nearly 350 lost or stray pets with no ID over the New Year's holiday.

The staff says the biggest challenge is identifying the dogs that are brought in. 

"Please collar, tag, microchip and license your pets," said volunteer Christine Bidgood. "Don't let them outside unsupervised, especially on holidays with fireworks and gunshots, loud noises."

Animal control officers have also been out in the field the past few days, trying to get lost pets home.

They're scanning microchips, hoping to track down their owners. 

"If our officers found a microchip or dog license, the animal was delivered right to the person’s door and never stepped foot into the shelter," said Jose Santiago with MCACC.

MCACC is hoping to encourage people by waiving certain fees to get owners to come in and get their pets.

  • Owners whose licensed dog is at the shelter will have their dog returned at no cost to them.
  • An unlicensed dog that's sterilized will have a $45 charge with no kennel fees added on.
  • An unlicensed dog that's not sterilized but the owner is willing to sterilize will have a $45 charge and sterilization will be for free.
  • An unlicensed dog that's not sterilized and the owner will not sterilize will pay full fees.

MCACC says with lost or stray animals, the shelter will hold them for four days before the animals are put up for adoption.

Shelter officials urge pet owners who lost their pets over New Year's to please come and look through the shelter kennels.

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