NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – This will be a hard week ahead for many New Mexico animal shelters. Every year hundreds of pets, spooked by fireworks, run away. Many end up at already full shelters. The Sante Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society had 34 animals come in over the weekend. They say that’s about normal for them, but this year its employees explain the shelter is very full.

“We, like everyone, are faced with a staffing shortage and between having fewer staff and more animals it’s definitely a strain on us right now we could really use the community’s support,” says Executive Director Jennifer Steketee. “We need volunteers, we need people to adopt, we need foster folks, we need to be moving some animals through.”

Officials say in June they took in 554 animals and, right now, they already have more than 100 up for adoption.

When it comes to Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Department, from July 2 to July 4 the shelter took in 98 dogs and cats. An Animal Welfare spokesperson says that is about normal for them but every fourth of July is still just as heartbreaking.

“You know coming into our shelter, I know these pets are scared and frightened when they come into the shelter. They’re looking for their mom and dad to come and get them. I’m glad they’re here at the shelter to be safe,” says Desiree Cawley. 

For pet owners searching for a pet who got out this weekend, you must be over the age of 18 to pick them up and you’ll need to bring a valid driver’s license and proof of ownership in the form of vaccinations, pictures, or the animal’s records. 

Animal Welfare will hold microchipped pets for seven days and will try to contact their owners. Pets that are not microchipped will be held for three days and the shelter urges owners to act fast to get their pets’ home.