Martinez animal shelter reunites pets with owners after 4th of July

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Contra Costa Animal Services launched a free adoption in an effort to make space for startled animals over the long Fourth of July weekend.

Since Friday, the shelter has taken in 150 stray animals frightened by the loud sounds of fireworks amplified by their heightened senses.

There are new faces inside the kennels at the Martinez Animal Shelter. These dogs and cats ran away from home during the Fourth of July weekend.

"I'm back to pick up my dog. People just don't care so they're blowing off fireworks all night long," pet owner Anthony said.

And there's a steady line of pet owners searching for lost pets, along with neighbors dropping off pets they've found.

"They get really freaked by the sounds. They could probably feel the reverberations as well and it's very frightening to them," Contra Costa Animal Services' Steve Burdo said.

It happens a lot this time of year. The shelter sees an uptick in strays in the days leading up to and following Independence Day.

Contra Costa Animal Services launched a new service called Mission Reunite. It aims to connect missing animals back to their owners.

It took some time, but finally Anthony and his dog, Dev, are back together.

"Any time we can get an animal back with its owner, you see the reaction on that dog and the owner. That's really what this job is really all about," Burdo said.

Since Friday, the shelter received 150 stray animals and that is expected to keep climbing.

It's not the first time Dev the pit bull has run away. "Cause now I have her back and she's probably gonna hang out with me every day now," Anthony said.

The shelter installed a microchip, just in case Dev - which is short for Devious -- leaves again.
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