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Fireworks spark increase in pets rescued by Las Vegas shelter

Updated July 6, 2022 - 7:20 pm

After fireworks spooked Pookie on Monday night, the Chihuahua-mix ran away from home, becoming one of the more than 250 animals The Animal Foundation has helped rescue since Friday.

Around the Fourth of July is the busiest time of the year for the Las Vegas nonprofit animal shelter, according to communications manager Kelsey Pizzi. At least 141 dogs, 93 cats and 22 other animals had been rescued as of Tuesday afternoon, Pizzi said.

Pookie’s owner was able to reunite with her pet, which Pizzi said is not always the case.

Last year, only 20 percent of the 559 lost animals taken in by the foundation in July through the 10th of the month were reclaimed by their owners.

The foundation said it is waiving fees through Sunday, which include impounding, boarding, rabies vaccinations and microchips.

The foundation is legally mandated to keep the animals for 72 hours but can make accommodations if owners are found within that timeline, Pizzi said.

Pizzi said that the foundation had found enough room for the influx of animals and that it has partnerships with shelters in other places such as Utah and Northern Nevada if more space is needed.

The Animal Foundation has a digital database with photos of the rescued pets, which updates regularly.

The foundation advised owners to not call or email if they spot their pets in the database but to go to the shelter where they are listed. They must bring proof of ownership, such as photos, vaccine or veterinary records.

Most dogs that go missing stay in their neighborhood, said the foundation, adding that “by attempting to locate the owner yourself, the pet can avoid a stressful trip to the animal shelter.”

Pookie, for instance, was found a street away from home, the foundation said.

Missing pets can also be registered at lost.petcolove.org.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.

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