MORE than 130 animals have been taken into the Ballarat RSPCA shelter since Christmas Eve including 66 dogs and 62 cats.
RSPCA Ballarat acting supervisor Rose Boulton said numbers had doubled since early December and it was one of the shelter's busiest times of the year.
"It's a time of year when people celebrate, so even though there aren't the organised fireworks by the city, there are many illegal fireworks around town," she said.
"We've also had windy rainy days, and that also contributes to pets running away.
"Dogs like routine and often that gets taken from them at Christmas time, so they can wander off to look for their owners."
Forty-nine dogs and six cats have been reclaimed so far.
There were still 98 animals at the shelter at noon today, with another two dropped off during The Courier's brief visit.
"If someone has lost a pet, they should come down and see us and look through our pens," Ms Boulton said.
"We legally keep strays for eight days, but after that we adopt them out"
"You can't always match a pet through descriptions over the phone, so it is important they come down here.
"We legally keep strays for eight days, but after that we adopt them out, so owners should visit once a week."
Ms Boulton said it was always great to reunite pets with the owners.
"It's great to see them find their pets again," she said.
"Pets are cared for and taken care of here, but it's small, crowded and locked up. They'd rather be home with their family."
AT A GLANCE
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