July 5: One Of Animal Control’s Busiest Days Of The Year

Some animals just don’t know how to react to fireworks on the fourth of July. Many have been known to hide, bite or even run away. That’s why the day after is typically one of Sioux Falls Animal Control’s busiest of the year.

Over the holiday, there aren’t any animal control officers on duty, only an on-call person to take emergency calls.

“At least 13 emergency calls yesterday (Monday),” said Animal Control Officer Missy John.

Along with a few other officers, John has the task of handling the rest the next day. She starts where she knows it’s going to be busy and noisy.

John said as she walks towards the kennels at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society, “You can already hear. That’s not how it usually is when we get here in the morning. That’s loud.”

As fireworks are taking off, she says so are many people’s pets. This is the result.

“They don’t understand what’s going on. They sense the danger from the noises, the different smells from the smoke and everything,” said John. “You have a fight or flight instinct that will happen a lot unfortunately.”

Many lost or missing animals are turned over to animal control or brought to the overnight intake facility at the humane society.

John talks to a dog at the intake facility, “Hey, handsome. How are ya?” “Yup, and this was a Sioux Falls city stray that was brought in.”

They have the job of tracking down the owners.

John said, “The first thing I’m going to do is check the lost reports to see if anyone’s calling in missing and if so I’m going to try to return that animal as quickly as possible.”

But it’s not always this easy. Many times, people who find the animal or the owners don’t report that the pets are even missing.

“I think a lot of times, people think that their animal is just going to come home or be returned maybe by a neighbor,” said John.

If you are missing a pet, she says it’s best to call the humane society and animal control so there are no holes, and hopefully a happy ending.

John says it’s very cheap and easy to buy a tag for your animal and could help you reunite with them faster. Animals that don’t have any information are turned over to the humane society for adoption after 72 hours. Ones that do are given much longer, up to five days.