Las Cruces overwhelmed with lost dogs after Fourth of July celebrations

Las Cruces overwhelmed with lost dogs...

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Las Cruces Animal Control Officers recovered more than one hundred dogs over the Fourth of July weekend, according to the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley.

Many of those dogs escaped after becoming petrified by the loud booming sounds produced by fireworks.

"There's no doubt about it," said Curtis Herring, population supervisor for the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley. "Over the Fourth of July weekend, we do have a higher intake."

Peter Lopez managed to recover all four of his dogs after they escaped Tuesday night.

"They found a way out," Lopez said. "In the future, I need to find a place for them in the garage or something where they'll be indoors."

After looking through his neighborhood, Lopez said he was relieved to get a call from Animal Control.

"They're family," Lopez.

Herring said not every pet or owner has been so lucky. Upon arriving at work this morning, he noticed that someone had tied a chihuahua to the front door of the building, which then subsequently escaped.

"He's still running loose," Herring said.

Herring recommended that any one who wishes to drop off a lost dog should hold on to the dog and wait to drop it off during the center's normal business hours.

Jason Jackson was reunited with his young, St. Bernard puppy, Cujo, who jumped a wall last night.

"He's like my little kid, you know?" Jackson said. "He's a big dog, but he's still a puppy."

Jackson said it had been a stressful morning.

"It was his first Fourth of July," he said. "(He) probably didn't know what to think of all the noise."

Cujo wasn't microchipped, but Jackson said now, "he's going to be."

Unfortunately, during a holiday with such loud noises, Herring said he doesn't know if there's a solution to preventing dogs from running away, besides making sure they are enclosed in a safe space.

"We all love fireworks, there's no doubt about it," Herring said. "I don't know where the happy medium would be."

Microchips absolutely help.

"(It's) a big part of keeping the dogs with their owners, because without that microchip, we have no clue on where these dogs come from," Herring said.

Only about ten percent of dogs that ASCMV receives have identification or are microchipped, Herring said.

A little less than fifteen percent are reunited with an owner.

"Somehow we have to figure out how to have a happy medium there," Herring said. "Where the dogs aren't suffering over it, definitely."

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