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Pets Missing After Fourth of July Fireworks

The Fourth of July was no celebration for some pet owners. The Wake County SPCA received a high number of missing pet reports.

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CARY, N.C. — Missing pet reports soared after Fourth of July fireworks likely spooked animals into running away, said Wake County SPCA officials.

The Wake County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received reports of 14 lost pets between 8 p.m. Wednesday and noon Thursday. SPCA officials said that's 70 percent more than the normal number of reports they receive during the same hours on any given night.

Nicomma Locklear of Cary spent Thursday searching for his missing dog, Mikey, a 1-year-old, black-and-white pit bull, who weighs about 60 pounds.

Locklear said that he was walking his two dogs last night when fireworks began.

"Our tan dog, Go-Go, she was scared. Her reaction was to stay. Mikey's, on the other hand, was to run," said Locklear.

Locklear said the noisy fireworks spooked Mikey so much that he broke his collar while trying to get away.

"He's not typically afraid of things. I guess that (the fireworks) drove him over the edge," said Locklear.

Michele Schulz, who has been an animal control officer in Cary for 10 years, said fireworks often scare pets and cause them to run away.

"The booms, things like that, animals get scared. Any kind of vibrations on the ground, they can feel. They tend to run," said Schulz.

Schulz said she received five calls reporting missed pets Thursday.

"I've had quite a few dogs missing today. People calling in saying their animal got loose last night, and they can't find it," said Schulz.

Meanwhile, Locklear said that he is hoping that his animal buddy will come home. Locklear said he has put up flyers and left Mikey's favorite pillow and snacks on his doorstep.

"Mickey, he's playful, a big puppy," said Locklear. "And if someone else got him and they got to know him, they may not want to return him. If that's the case, maybe a call, just say he's OK."

Animal control officers also recommend bringing pets indoors during storms because lightning scares them, too.


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