The Fourth of July is a time for food, fun and celebration — which often involves fireworks — but the Independence Day blasts aren’t fun for every person and canine.
Three weeks after the patriotic festivities, several dogs which ran away the weekend of July 4 remain at the Madison County Humane Society.
They’re still waiting to go home.
The shelter — the only in Madison County — typically receives one to three dogs a week. Between July 4 and July 6, eight dogs were brought in, said Danielle King, assistant director. Of those dogs, all but four or five are still waiting to be adopted.
“It’s definitely higher than normal,” King confirmed. “You would have hoped their families would have called by now.”
Two of the eight dogs did go home with their families after a short stay, and one has already been adopted by a new family.
King said the shelter prepares every year for an increase in dogs during the holiday weekend. It’s a trend that many canines will run away from home, terrified of the loud, unpredictable noises and bright displays.
A white lab the shelter has named Rooker is one of those. He is still wearing the collar in which he was found. Deputies and the dog warden pulled Rooker out from beneath a chicken coop July 4 after he couldn’t be coaxed to come forward on his own.
It took shelter workers an entire week to persuade the dog to leave his kennel. Even this week, the dog remains so scared, he turns his head into the corner of his kennel when others look at him.
He’s now available for adoption, just like the other dogs. If a dog has no ID, it’s considered a stray; if it’s wearing a collar, it’s considered to be “at-large.” After being held for three days, the humane society processes the dogs for adoption if they are friendly to people and other dogs.
Adoption fees are $130. All dogs are microchipped, tagged and vetted.
To avoid the situation, King suggests pet owners bring their outside dogs inside during fireworks. Inside dogs should be brought outside to go potty before the show begins, she adds.
“They tell you in advance when they are, so take them inside and lock them in a room,” she said “Some of them slip out of their collars. They’ll do whatever they can to get out.”
She also recommends trying a “Thundershirt,” a brand-name garment designed to wrap around the pet’s body and push on pressure points to calm it.
Those who have lost their pet can fill out a report at the humane society. The shelter keeps the reports on file as long as the owner requests.
Dogs (and cats) available for adoption can be viewed online at http://www.hsmcohio.com.
The shelter can be reached at (614) 879-8368.
Andrea Chaffin McKinney can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.