Fewer Runaway Dogs Fetched By Animal Services Officers


Ordinarily, July 5 and Jan. 1 are the busiest days of the year for animal control officers. They have to round up frightened family pets that run away when the fireworks go off.

This year, the County shelters actually saw fewer runaway dogs, said Dan DeSousa, County Animal Services (DAS).

“It looks like more people may have heeded the word to keep pets inside in a quiet area,” he said.

Last year, the County animal shelter on Gaines Street found 18 frantic and lost dogs, and this year, only five, DeSousa said. At the County’s North County shelter, only three were picked up this year, compared to 11 last year. In the South Bay, the County shelter rescued two dogs off the streets this year, while last year they had five runaways, he said.

Family pets often can become frightened and frantic due to the loud explosive racket of fireworks. DAS reminds pet owners every year to keep pets in a quiet part of the house in the evening hours on July 4.

Pets should never be left outside even in a fenced yard because a distressed and panicked animal can find a way to escape. On the streets, a pet is in danger of being hit by a vehicle or being attacked by another animal.

Lost pets found with an internal microchip identification chip and/or external ID tags or licenses can be quickly reunited with their owners.

Anyone who may have found a lost pet is asked to call DAS at (619) 767-2675. Anyone who may have lost a pet is encouraged to visit the shelter closest to them or check the Department’s website at

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact