LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Animal Services was kept busy this weekend as Fourth of July fireworks triggered fear and anxiety for dogs across the South Plains.
According to LAS executive director Steven Greene, animal control picked up over 40 animals over the long weekend.
For Greene, the holiday typically sees a similar influx every year.
“On an average day one officer runs about 30 calls, on a holiday like Fourth of July that might be up about 40 calls,” said Greene.
Fireworks tend to cause fear and anxiety for all kinds of animals – causing many dogs to flee their homes. Once dogs are on the streets and scared, it can be difficult for them to find their way back home.
“The biggest concern is if they get out disoriented and lost and don’t know how to get back home,” said Greene. “They could get hit by a car, probably get attacked by other animals or even wildlife.”
Even dogs that haven’t previously reacted to fireworks can still get spooked. This was a reality for owner Tiffany Hernandez whose 10-year-old dog Riley somehow got out of their fenced in backyard.
“We went to do fireworks and our dogs come in and out, they have a doggy door to come in and out of,” said Hernandez. “They typically just come in by themselves and when we got home the other two were in and she was no where to be found. A couple days earlier and in previous years she was okay.”
If you know there are going to be fireworks, animal services recommend you put your dogs inside in a dark room so they feel safe and are secure.
“If you have lost your pet, you need to come into our facility and fill out a lost card so we can put it in our database so if someone comes in with a lost dog we can match it up,” said Greene.
LAS will hold dogs for ten days if they have a chip or tag before putting them through the adoption process. If they have no ID, they will put them through in 72 hours.