RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Riverside County Animal Control officials are reminding pet owners to take precautions during the holidays after hundreds of runaway dogs were collected July Fourth weekend.
Animal control officials say they collected nearly 300 dogs in the last few days. Some were hurt, and a few were found dead.
Parmida Malek was one of dozens of heartsick pet owners who lined up here at the Riverside County Animal Shelter Monday.
Her Yorkie was among the many pets that bolted when fireworks lit up the night sky Saturday.
“We went outside to check on our dogs and he was gone,” Malek said.
In some cases, owners here blame illegal fireworks for their missing pups.
“I went outside to go feed him and like, he escaped through one of the holes because of the fireworks next door,” pet owner Charisma Hernandez said.
A German Shepherd in one kennel was injured — picked up this weekend after it was hit by a car. County officials think the animal was probably hit by that car while it was running away from fireworks.
Keeping a pet safe means only a few simple steps, however, officials say.
“Keep their dog indoors. Put them in a nice secure room with music playing or a chew toy,” Riverside County Animal Services spokesperson John Welsh said.
Some lucky owners were reunited with their dogs. Allen Murillo got his Yorkie back.
“He wants to go home and take a bath,” Murillo said.
If your pet is lost, officials say do not give up and keep checking with the shelter.
And when you are reunited, chipping your pup is highly recommended.