Fireworks may have scared animals
Santa Barbara County Animal Services received a total of 81 stray animals, a mix of dogs and cats, from Thursday through Monday.
Of those, 24 animals arrived Sunday and Monday.
“It is a lot more than usual compared to the past few weeks,” Jessica Wiebe, public information assistant at Santa Barbara County Animal Services, told the News-Press Tuesday. “I believe, with all the fireworks, animals are getting scared and running out.”
Of the 81 that were received, 42 are still waiting at Animal Services for their owners.
It typically costs $100 to $300 to reclaim a pet, but the shelters have waived the fee through Saturday. Pets not yet microchipped will be sent home with a free microchip as well.
A total of 21 animals were collected by their owners Sunday and Monday.
Typically just 17% of strays are reunited with owners, Animal Services posted on its Facebook page, though Fourth of July could be an exception.
Ms. Wiebe recommends people knock on neighbors’ doors when they find a stray pet. Most pets are found within a mile of home.
They should also post on Nextdoor, Facebook groups and other social media platforms with pictures of the animal, she said. Nextdoor also has a directory of neighborhood pets with owners’ contact information.
If people still can’t find a stray pet’s owner, then taking the pet to Animal Services is the next step.
Pets registered in the county receive an ID tag with a QR code people can scan to find the owner’s information.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services displays strays on a lost-and-found page, updated every 30 minutes. Animals have a five-day hold before they are posted for adoption.
Owners of lost animals can look through the cages if a description matching their pet is listed, though many have photos online.
Currently, Animal Services has 90 animals in its care. Ms. Wiebe has noticed an uptick in intakes as people return to work and get into busier schedules.
To look through the strays at Animal Services, go to countyofsb.org/phd/animal/lostandfound.sbc.