In the wake of New Year's fireworks, Animal Care Services reports possibly hundreds of dogs were lost trying to escape the loud explosions, while others that were not killed in traffic were found wandering the streets.
"Dogs have a very good sense of hearing, very sensitive ears," said Elizabeth Kalmykov, ACS shelter operations manager. "The residual effects can last for a few hours."
Hector Gutierrez said he realized that after Rue, his Old English bulldog, spent New Year's Eve indoors.
He said his neighborhood sounded "like Armageddon."
Gutierrez said that after he let Rue out the next morning, "I couldn't find him at all yesterday."
But the two were reunited after Gutierrez found Rue on the ACS website, www.petharbor.com.
Kalmykov said the website is a good place to start looking, or by checking the ACS kennels at 4710 Highway 151.
She said pets should be licensed, tagged and microchipped to help locate their owners.
Kalmykov also said next time there are fireworks, if your dog really needs to go outside, keep it on a leash and stay with it because even if dogs are in fenced yards, if they're terrified, they'll find a way to escape.
Rosalinda Ledesma said that’s what happened to her Chihuahua, Abigail, on New Year’s Eve.
Ledesma said the fireworks in her neighborhood sounded like cannons. She said about 12:30 a.m., Abigail needed to go outside, so she put her in the fenced backyard.
“She just disappeared. I don’t know I’ve been looking for,” Ledesma said, her eyes brimming with tears.
“That’s the hard part, that maybe somebody’s got her and they’re not taking care of her. Tonight it’s going to freeze,” Ledesma said. “I don’t know if she had a heart attack. She’s so little.”
She was not at ACS, so Ledesma is hoping someone will contact her if they find the mostly white Chihuahua with a red sweater.
Yolanda Toscano embraced Ledesma at ACS because she too lost her beloved dog Max, a King Charles-dachsund mix, who also escaped a fenced yard.
“We have an alley and that’s where everybody was hanging out, popping those fireworks,” Toscano said. “We’re desperate for Max to come home. We miss him dearly.”