ROANOKE, Va. – July 5 is one of the busiest days of the year for many shelters, since so many dogs run away on the 4th of July because they're scared of the fireworks.
Now they're dealing with a huge influx of animals and trying to figure out how they'll be able to accommodate them all.
The kennels at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection in Roanoke are packed. Since July 4th festivities kicked off Saturday, 14 new dogs have come to the shelter.
"The explosion noise really scares the dogs and they get out of their fence, they get out of their yard area and then Animal Control picks them up and they're housed here until we can find their owner or they're adopted out," RCACP interim executive director Michael Warner said.
The first priority is reuniting any lost pets with their owners.
"About nine or 10 families have reached out to us on our online page giving the description of dogs that they're still looking for," Warner said.
They cleared out some space with a big adoption event a couple weeks ago, but already, they're out of room.
"It is a concern. We're kind of looking at our foster parents to come in and take some of our dogs. We're looking at some of our rescues to come in," Warner said.
They're also looking for people, like Ronda Rocchio, to adopt.
"I have PTSD, so I'd like to have a dog and just to keep me company, I live by myself," Rocchio said.
She said she's well aware of overcrowding issues this time of year.
"It's exactly one of the reasons that I'm coming out. I came out the other day and there were so many out her," Rocchio said.
Thanks to her, a dog in need now has a new home, and the shelter has room for one more pet.
"I'm giving her a good home," Rocchio said.
To help ease overcrowding, RCACP is hosting a big adoption event Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the office, located at 1510 Baldwin Avenue NE in Roanoke. RCACP is posting descriptions of lost animals here on its website.