WILDOMAR (CBSLA) — A Riverside County animal shelter is pleading with people to stop surrendering unwanted animals until after the Fourth of July.

Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar says a number of animals have been left in the shelter’s overnight drop kennel — meant for strays — because their owners are ashamed that they have to surrender their pets.

“We have a pet in there right now that’s probably about 15 years old and is blind and deaf,” Monique Middleton, chief animal control officer, said. “And this person brought this dog in and turned it in, because it was old and deaf and was starting to be bothersome.”

The shelter takes care of the animals, but the shelter says they need extra space for the Fourth of July weekend to take in animals that run away from their homes after being scared by fireworks.

According to the shelter, dumping animals in the overnight kennels without information could be a crime.

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