Runaway Pets

July 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
More than a hundred valley families are hoping to be reunited with their lost pets after Fourth of July fireworks caused many of the animals to run away.The Central California SPCA in Fresno says today has been the busiest day of the year as people bring in the animals they found wandering the streets and others look for their lost friends.

This Basset Hound was just one of nearly 200 dogs brought to the Central California SPCA Saturday morning in hopes of finding his owners. Caitlin Lujan, found dog, says "We found him in the middle of the street. And we just put him in the car and took him home and we put up posters and we were driving around today." Kellie Lujan, found dog, says "He's a really good dog. He's nice and playful."

This little Pomeranian mix was also found Friday night. She's still shaking after a scary night. Jaci Dalton found dog, says "We were watching the neighbors shooting off their fireworks, and she came ripping down the middle of the street, just scared to death."

Beth Caffrey, Central Valley SPCA, says "The fireworks do a lot of damage when it comes to animals. They're out, they're missing, and they're terrified."

The reception area at Fresno's SPCA was busy Saturday afternoon as people came by to fill out lost and found pet forms.

The Ochoa family is looking for their lost Dachshund mix, Peanut. This photo was taken three years ago, the day he was first adopted. "Mid morning we went out to feed him and play with him and he was gone," recalls Patricia Ochoa. "Hopefully if they find him, somebody will turn him in and we'll get him back."

All animals brought into the shelter are scanned for microchips, but microchips don't always guarantee a safe return. Caffrey says, "Make sure you check your microchips and that they are completely registered, and if you move change the address. Because we see a lot of animals that may have a microchip but we still have no way to contact the owner."

Fortunately, there was a happy reunion for the Basset Hound whose name turned out to be Buster. Max Parayno, dog owner, says "We were waiting by the phone, thinking maybe they'll call. And then thank goodness they called, and I'm really happy."

It turns out, Buster didn't have a microchip but before he went home, he got one; just in case he ever decides to take off again.

If your pet is missing you have to show up at the SPCA in person in order to look for it. They say it's important that you keep checking, too because lost animals are constantly coming in.


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