Runaway Dogs from July Fourth Still Unclaimed

Rover and 56 of his runaway friends are still waiting for their owners to take them home from the County’s three animal shelters. If they aren’t picked up, some dogs will be put for adoption starting Wednesday. Dogs often flee in a panic during Fourth of July fireworks, and the shelters had a surge of animals starting on the holiday this year from Animal Control Officers picking up dogs as strays or people bringing in lost animals.

In all, 156 dogs came into the shelters between 9 p.m. July 4 and the evening of July 7. The animal care facility at Gaines Street in San Diego took in 60 dogs, the one in Carlsbad received 13 and the shelter in Bonita saw 83. Many were claimed, a few were transferred to the appropriate jurisdictions but on Wednesday, 57 dogs remained.

The shelters are required to hold dogs without identification for only three business days, not counting the day the dog was rescued or the days the shelters are closed. After that time, the dogs are put up for adoption.

If the dog did have ID, County Animal Services notified the owner by phone and by mail. The shelters are only required to hold those dogs for five business days. For many, the time period ended Wednesday so if their owners didn’t come for them, they too were put up for adoption. Their photos are now posted on the County Animal Services adoption web page.

“It’s unfortunate that these animals haven’t been claimed,” said County Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “We’re going to focus now on getting these dogs into new homes.”

Owners who are still looking for their pets can go online and check the County Animal Services lost and found page and the adoption page as well. They can also use the free facial recognition app called Finding Rover to see if their dogs have been found.

County Animal Services offers microchipping at all three of its locations from 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday. There is a one-time fee of $10 and that includes national registration.


Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact