NewsPasco County


Fireworks, holiday chaos responsible for spike in lost dogs

70 stray pets found in Pasco since Christmas
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jan 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-01 17:43:32-05

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Still visiting family in Vermont, Desirae Scott and Adam Fuller can’t do much to help search for their dog named Cooper.

Early New Year’s Day, with family watching Cooper, the dog got spooked when fireworks went off in their Wesley Chapel neighborhood. The 7-month-old ran away with his leash still on and never came back.

“We woke up to it, so we’ve been pretty much sitting on our phones all morning with the ringers up just hoping that we will hear something,” said Scott.

Pasco Animal Services says it’s not unusual for dogs, even those closely watched, to get loose when fireworks are going on.

“They just take off, they keep going to get as far away from those loud noises as possible,” said Rachel Stever, Education and Outreach Coordinator.

With all the distractions around the holidays, Pasco sees a big spike in lost dogs.

More than 40 strays came in to the shelter around Halloween. 25 came in during Thanksgiving and about 20 over Christmas 

“During our celebrations, we do forget to keep an eye on who’s walking in and out of the home, and when they do get scared, when nobody’s looking our pets sneak out,” said Stever.

Officials say make sure to have your dogs tagged and micro-chipped in case they do get loose.

And during fireworks, find them a safe place to hide with a comforting toy.

As for Cooper, it is a Happy New Year after all. Thanks to posts on social media, somebody found him at a nearby store and he is back where he belongs.

If your dog was recently lost, you can check the website and also go to animal services to look starting again Tuesday.