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PACC sees weekend surge as strays get turned in following the 4th of July

Posted at 5:23 AM, Jul 08, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima Animal Care Center sees the same surge every year.

Almost 100 more dogs and cats are turned in following the 4th of July holiday.

And in the 3 days since, over 130 dogs and over 80 cats were turned in.

“Especially in the times that are typically a day, two days after the actual holiday. The reason for that is often dogs will get spooked and run and hide, and then they tend to hunker down, hide for a little while, and then start coming out looking for food and water,” says Kayleigh Murdock, public information officer at PACC.

The shelter fully staffs itself over the weekend to handle the surge, but they ask the public for help as well.

“When people do find a stray pet, they think that the best thing for them is to bring them to the shelter. And while, of course, that is true for a sick, injured or aggressive pet,” says Murdock, “what we're really asking people to do is, if you find a healthy, friendly stray pet, a pet who almost certainly has a home, to really take the time to try to find that owner before bringing them.”

Some options to help include, posting online to see if you can reunite the dog with its owner before bringing them to PACC.

“About 63% of dogs are found within a mile of their home. So that's why it's so important to keep them in the neighborhood and to really try to reunite them before bringing them here to the shelter,” says Murdock.

PACC offers an online lost and found that can help you check out what dogs are currently at the shelter looking for a reunion.

There is also a resource called Petco Love Lost that you can upload a picture of your dog and AI face recognition matches the picture with other images of dogs in the database.

Blake Phillips is a reporter for KGUN 9. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Blake grew up in Sierra Vista. During his college tenure at the Missouri School of Journalism, Blake worked for the NBC affiliate KOMU-TV in Columbia. He is excited to return to a place he calls home and give back to the community in which he grew up. Share your story ideas and important issues with Blake by emailing