For the fifth year in a row, Animal Friends held its "Liberation Day Rescue" to offer a second chance to lost and unclaimed dogs.
Jolene Miklas, Animal Friends' spokeswoman, said the dogs that were saved Monday were slated to be euthanized at various animal control facilities if not claimed by their owners.
"Animal Friends partnered with four animal control agencies to rescue and admit 29 unclaimed dogs who were facing euthanasia," she said.
The first wave of rescued dogs on Monday morning produced two from Triangle Pet Control of McKees Rocks. A second wave brought in a total of 15 dogs from the Greene County Humane Society. More would come throughout the day, with plenty of volunteers on hand to lend a helping hand.
"It's very rewarding, especially today," said Rick Novosel, a volunteer for six years who's retired, loves dogs and finds the work he does at Animal Friends to be fulfilling.
Novosel said there are many instances when owners lose their dogs and don't bother to come looking for them.
"To see animals, dogs, put down because they can't find a home, it's just heartbreaking," he said.
As the dogs were brought to the nonprofit, no-kill shelter in Ohio Township, they were named and vaccinated. Miklas said each dog was also tested for canine parvovirus, or parvo, a highly contagious virus that can easily spread from dog to dog. Once cleared, the dogs were bathed and groomed.
"They're always grateful to be here," Miklas said. "It's like they know they're saved."
Miklas said the event is an "educational effort" to let people know that more dogs are lost around the Fourth of July than any other time of year because of loud noises, fireworks and outdoor activities. Simple measures can keep your dog safe, she said.
Residents of the Southwestern Veterans Center gave the dogs such names as "Apple Pie," "Firework," and "Yankee and Doodle" in the spirit of the Fourth of July.
Pending any necessary evaluation, the dogs will be spayed or neutered and readied for adoption into loving families' homes beginning Wednesday.
Miklas said the shelter also has a "Liberation Day" on New Year's Eve, as a way to ring in the New Year in a positive way.
"We wish we could do it every single day and if we had a lot of adoptions everyday, we could," Miklas said. "No-kill shelters are challenged by admissions. If adoptions are slow, admissions are slow."