Summertime, 4th of July weekend common for pets to go missing, be surrendered

According to Paws 4 the Cause, at least 25 animals were lost in Lexington and the surrounding areas over the Fourth of July weekend

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Summertime is the most common time for pets to go missing or get surrendered, according to an area animal protection group.

Anita Spreitzer with Paws 4 the Cause says over this past Fourth of July weekend, at least 25 animals were lost in Lexington and the surrounding areas.

“We saw it all over social media. Basically, people reached out to us on social media. In Lexington, Animal Control has to get them so we give them the information that we need,” said Spreitzer.

The animal protection group says many of these animals were likely lost due to their families being out of town, getting out during Fourth of July parties, or due to fireworks, which can be terrifying for some animals.

“Lost of times they’re let out in the backyard unattended. Then, when the fireworks go off, they get scared and instead of trying to run into the house they try getting out of the backyard because they want to get away from the noise. Once they get out, they go on survival mode and keep running,” said Spreitzer, “Or somebody is babysitting or the dogs are at somebody else’s home because the family took advantage of the long weekend and went on vacation.”

Spreitzer also says with people taking vacations over the summer, and the increased amount of summer travel post-pandemic, priorities are shifting, causing people to pay less attention to their pets, and even in some cases surrendering them. Spreitzer says taking in lost pets adds to the already overwhelming issue of over-crowded shelters.

“We’ve seen a big intake in abandonment also at the rural animal shelters also. We just picked up two puppies yesterday. The shelters are packed, and when they’re packed, they’re forced to euthanize so we’re hoping that a lot of the dogs that were found over the Fourth of July will be identified and get back to their families,” said Spreitzer.

The group says it monitors social media for lost pet posts. If you’ve lost a pet, the group suggests posting to your area’s lost pet pages and to also contact your area’s animal control agency, making sure to act fast as many animal control agencies have a 5-day hold policy.

Spreitzer also suggests requesting a walk-through at your area’s animal control or shelter as soon as you can if you’ve lost a pet.

To contact the Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control agency, call (859) 255-9033.

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