Animal Shelters experiencing an influx of stray pets

The Bella Vista Animal shelter had received six dogs in July following the Independence Day weekend.

ROGERS, Ark. — Animal Shelters are experiencing an influx of stray pets after Independence Day celebrations.

Nancy Collins is the Executive Director of the Bella Vista Animal Shelter. She explained that fireworks cause stress in dogs, making them run from the loud noises of fireworks.

Fireworks get dogs very excited. They get very riled upif there’s a loud noise then they will usually bolt, and they won’t come back when they’re being called,” said Collins. “It increases the amount of strays everywhere, not just here.”

Luke Heffron said his family’s dog, Inara, escaped on Friday, July 1. 

“She freaked out, she got scared, she ran off she dug under the fence and got out,” said Heffron. 

Heffron said Inara stayed in their fenced backyard when the family went to visit his grandparents in Bella Vista. Rogers’ fireworks ordinance limited firework use from July 2 to 4, meaning the Heffron wouldn’t have to worry until the next day. With fireworks going off nearby, it drove the family pet to dig under the fence, escaping the home.

“I got really comfortable with her being in the backyard she is an inside-outside dog,” said Heffron. “She’s a real nice dog, she’s very friendly but she was in a state of mind where she didn’t trust anybody.”

Collins said that returning from the holiday weekend, the shelter had received 6 dogs in the month of July, which was more than usual for the nonprofit. Tuesday morning the shelter received an older dog from the weekend’s celebrations.

“Her little feet were all burned from walking on the asphalt, she obviously isn’t a dog that runs very quickly arthritic, and so we’re hoping that we can find her people quickly,” said Collins

Luckily for the Heffron family, their dog was promptly found when a person called the number on Inara’s collar.

“The person who found them she was crossing the street that hadn’t seen any of our posts, but they saw her collar. They called and said we have your dog and so it was seven minutes by the time I just had to drive to Sam’s Club,” said Heffron. “We’re all much happier for it including my living my little boy he was very glad to see his dog home.”

The Bella Vista Animal shelter has also seen a rise in owner surrenders. The executive director asks anyone looking to adopt to fully consider the responsibilities of owning a pet. She explained that owners should also consider who to entrust the pet to in case of emergency or death. 

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