TAMPA - Independence Day has become notorious for pets running away from home after being frightened by the loud fireworks. Many pets who flee will likely be dropped off at local shelters in the days following July 4th.
According to animal experts, dogs have hearing four times better than people. The sound of fireworks is a shock to their nervous system. Dogs often run as an instinct to the fear.
Jonathan Jenkins learned that lesson the hard way on Sunday, July 3rd, when his 3-month-old puppy named Bellatrix escaped his backyard in Largo as a neighbor was lighting off fireworks.
"She sprinted around the side, and instead of stopping at the gate, she squeezed through the gate and out of the neighborhood," said Jenkins.
He chased the puppy until she was out of site. Jenkins and his children searched for her all night. Fourteen hours later, she returned home on Monday, wet and muddy.
"We're all very happy to have her home," said Jenkins.
Larissa Tejamanil is hoping for the same happy ending, after her 6-month-old Yorkipoo Xuua slipped through her fenced in yard off Himes Avenue in Tampa after hearing fireworks near the house.
"I've posted pictures everywhere. You go to Best Buy, Walmart, everywhere, you'll see posters, on stop signs," said Tejamanil.
Local animal shelters typically post pictures of missing pets on their websites and social media accounts to help spread the word.
Veteranarians advise pet owners to make sure their animals wear identification tags anytime they are outside.
Having pets microchipped helps shelters find the owner faster, but it's important for pet owners to make sure their contact information connected to the microchip is up to date as well.
Pet owners are strongly advised to keep their dogs and cats indoors during fireworks displays.