LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- The aftermath of the Fourth of July fireworks is still being felt by pet owners.

July 5-6 are usually the busiest days of the year for animal shelters, including Louisville Metro Animal Services. During an average two-day period, LMAS brings in approximately a dozen animals, but in the last two days, they have received nearly 50.

Most of the animals break free from their chains and escape backyards because of unfamiliar noises and fireworks.

“Before we opened the gate at 12 p.m., we had a line of cars, and then the waiting room was full of people all looking for their lost pets,” said LMAS Lost and Found Coordinator, Emily Scobba. “There’s just been a huge increase in the amount of animals that come in. They’re strays just running lose.”

Facebook groups like Kentuckiana Lost and Found Pets and several others post about the animals that have been spooked and are now looking for their families.

WDRB News spoke with several families who were at LMAS looking for their lost pets.

“My daughter is in the Navy, and it’s her dog. We have been looking for him, and it’s just real heart-wrenching not to be able to find him," said Grover Stanley Jr. who has posted messages on social media looking for the brown lab/pit bull mix. "She is going through a lot ... She is trying to get a flight home to look for him."

LMAS said pets can often react to fireworks differently than they would other noises. Dogs have been known to break through wooden fences and crash through glass doors to escape the loud noises.

Patricia Scamahorn lost her dog on July 1 after it escaped through the front door because of fireworks. A neighbor nearly a mile down the road found the 8-lb Chihuahua in her closet. The homeowner believes the dog snuck in through the backdoor when it was open to let the cats out. 

The surprised homeowner snapped a picture of the dog and called her friend who works at a nearby animal hospital to get the word out.

“I prayed to God every day that He would bring him back home to me,” Scamahorn said. “It was a very, very big relief knowing that I got him back that he wasn’t injured or hurt – that he was still safe.”

LMAS encourages all dog and cat owners to have their pets micro-chipped, registered in the pet database, and update all information.

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