SARASOTA, Fla. — A Sarasota man said his dog died after being hit by a car when it was spooked by fireworks.
Phillip Sherry said he was visiting family with his 11-month old puppy, Maple, on the Fourth of July.
He left to return home and had the dog on a leash. He said fireworks startled his dog and caused her to get loose.
"I had a leash and collar on her. She was just so frightened, she pulled away with everything she had and the collar came right off her. She fought it," said Sherry.
He ran after the dog but lost sight of her. He posted about his lost dog on the Facebook page, "Lost and Found Pets 941."
The page is run by Patty Giarrusso who operates Lost Pet Services, a nonprofit organization.
"I was on the Facebook page for lost pets, which was amazing. Someone reached out and said they actually saw her running down Tuttle," said Sherry.
Sherry and his family located Maple near Tuttle Avenue and Hyde Park Street in Sarasota. It's about a mile away from where she got loose.
She was struck and killed by a car.
"Words can't describe it. I'm heartbroken. I'm broken from it," said Sherry. "She was laying in the middle of the road. No one had stopped and we found her."
Sherry said a few hours later, his family found another missing dog that was spooked by fireworks. They were able to locate the dog's family.
"About 12 hours later, my parents actually encountered a lost dog from the same circumstances. He escaped in the backyard because of the fireworks and we located his home and got him home safely, thank God. It was a little light to the story of our horrors from the 4th," said Sherry.
Giarrusso said the nonprofit reunited 55 lost pets this weekend after they were spooked by fireworks.
Sherry hopes his story reminds people that fireworks may be harmful to pets and also veterans with PTSD.
"Sometimes you don't know the damage you're doing. You have to put yourself in other people's shoes sometimes and just be considerate," said Sherry.