WASHINGTON COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - Every year, dogs and cats end up in animal shelters after running away from home after being frightened by loud fireworks set off during the Fourth of July. However, this year a local shelter report that fewer lost pets were brought in.

Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter in Washington County says that eight dogs in all were brought in over the holiday weekend, which is fewer than last year when the shelter cared for 20 dogs.

The reason so many fewer dogs seem to have run off this year may be because of COVID-19.

Big firework displays were canceled, which meant many pet owners stayed home.

"Everything's different this year that’s for sure. I think that could have something to do with more people being at home with their animals," said Jen Keene, behavioral coordinator at Bonnie Hays. "I think having people with their pets has probably made a big difference."

Unlike some shelters, Bonnie Hays remained open all weekend so that owners could reclaim their lost pets.

Only two remained on Monday morning - a male Chihuahua and a female poodle-mix. Thankfully, they were picked up by their owners by the afternoon.

Keene told FOX 12 that she thinks there's another reason the shelter saw a decline in runaway dogs this year.

"Social media such as next door and some Facebook groups and citizens helping get animals home lost animals home in the neighborhood can be really helpful," Keene said. "So that’s a great way that the community shares the burden, and it's better for the animals because they’re spending less time in unfamiliar places."

People at Bonnie Hays would like to remind pet owners that it's a good idea to get your dog or cat micro-chipped in case they run away.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(1) comment


Maybe these pets were following comrade Brown's orders and stayed home.

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