Dogs scared by New Year's fireworks still missing - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Dogs scared by New Year's fireworks still missing

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TYLER (KYTX) - Several East Texas pet owners are looking for their animals after they disappeared over the past couple of days, scared off by a popular New Year's tradition.

Fireworks are a huge part of holidays like New Year's and the Forth of July, but lots of pet owners don't think about what the loud noises do to their dogs. 

If you take a look around East Texas, you'll find way more lost pet signs than usual. If you look at the lost and found ads online, lots of the descriptions this week mention the pet ran away during the fireworks show.

"She's my little baby."

To Patrick Russell, his 9-month-old dog Josie is like his child.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I love this dog more than anything. I would do anything for her," Russell says.

He and his girlfriend Natalie Gray even took Josie to their New Year's Eve party in Chapel Hill.

"My friends had started shooting off some fireworks and I went and checked the gates and they were pushed open," he says.  "I didn't hear her I didn't see her so I started calling for her and she was no where to be found."
Josie, like most dogs, is petrified of loud fireworks, so Russell knew she probably didn't stay close by.

"When we went to go post that we had lost her, we went to Craigslist and realized that we were not the only people. There are all of these people that lost dogs due to the fireworks as well on New Years," Gray says.

There were 20 similar stories just on Craigslist alone. That didn't even include the other listings on the SPCA website, and other lost animal Facebook pages.

After two days, Russell was starting to think the worst, then Thursday morning, a man called with the best kind of news. 

"He got the number off her tag and called us," Russell says. "I was running out the door with one shoe on! It was just a total relief. I can't explain it. She was going nuts she was so excited to see us."

With his world turned right side up again, Russell's thoughts turn to the long list of missing dogs ads he saw from people all over East Texas.

"I hope that everyone else out there who has lost their dogs will have the same luck that we did," he says.

Craigslist is where you'll find a lot of notices about both missing and found pets. The local SPCA, and a group on Facebook called Lost Cats and Dogs of East Texas also helps owners find missing animals.

Russell says it's beyond worth it to get those pet name tags with your phone numbers on them. Russell took Josie today to get a micro chip, so if she ever does get loose again they'll at least know where she is.

He's also looking into buying a product called a Thunder Shirt. It's a coat that wraps around your pet (dog or cat), and the gentle pressure actually calms the animal down during stressful situations.

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