The Ardmore Animal Shelter has seen a spike in the number of dogs coming in after Fourth of July, something the shelter staff has learned to brace for over the years.
Currently, the shelter is housing more than 100 dogs, with more receiving medical treatment.
Most of the dogs aren’t strays brought in by Ardmore Animal Control, but pets being surrendered by owners or being brought in by strangers who’ve found them. Shelter Director Jeanine Jackson said the fact that the holiday fell on a Wednesday this year will likely exacerbate the problem.
“Animals are afraid of fireworks,” Jackson said. “Pets run off and someone else finds them and brings them to our shelter.”
On Saturday, July 7, more than 30 dogs were dropped off during business hours. The shelter received 27 dogs on Friday.
“With a long weekend, there will be more fireworks and more situations where dogs might run away,” Jackson said. “But we’re going to do our best. It’s going to be like a 10 day process here.”
Dogs come to Ardmore’s shelter from rural Oklahoma and parts of Texas as well. Most of this week’s new arrivals are adult dogs, not puppies.
“We also have a lot from out of town, which could be the same situation,” Jackson said.
Dogs with tags, collars and chips can be easily reunited with their owners.
“That’s the best way to find their home,” Jackson said.
In addition to the post-Fourth increase, the shelter constantly contends with dogs that are dropped off improperly. Dogs are frequently tied up at the shelter’s front door after hours or left in outdoor recreation areas. Jackson said skipping out on intake paperwork makes rehoming the dog or finding its owners more difficult.
“Our paperwork is very simple,” Jackson said. “If you live in Carter County, you can drop an animal off at no charge.”
The fee for anyone living somewhere other than Carter County is $25. The shelter is open admission, meaning they take in any animal that’s brought to them.
“It is a very difficult process but that’s our ultimate goal,” Jackson said.
Anyone with a missing pet should post a photo to the Ardmore Animal Shelter’s Facebook page, then come to the shelter and ask to look for their pet. Stray animals are all held for five days once they’re brought in.
At the shelter, owners will need to show identification and a photo of their pet to pick them up.
Jackson said the shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Sunday. She said if someone is looking for a lost pet, they can come to the back of the shelter between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday.