The booming and flashing fireworks of Independence Day terrified some Tri-City pets, leaving many owners searching for their missing pooches.
At the Tri-Cities Animal Control shelter, Angela Zilar said they were seeing more people reporting lost pets than previous years, while other area shelters received about the same number of lost pet calls.
At least one dog was killed after being hit by a car while running from fireworks, and another was hurt and remains at the Pasco shelter, said Zilar, animal control director for the authority formed by Pasco, Kennewick and Richland.
The fireworks aren't over yet, so the potential for more frightened pets to escape yards still is there, she said.
Reports of pets fleeing because of fireworks started coming in Saturday, she said.
"Today, we've had a bunch coming through the doors," she said Thursday.
If a pet is really terrified, it will find a way to escape, whether it has to dig under or leap over a fence or even break out of an outdoor kennel, Zilar said.
Pet owners should keep their pets inside if possible to protect them from the sound, lights and smoke, said Audrey Zoesch, Benton Franklin Humane Society adoption and intake manager. Some owners will board their animal during the holiday or ask a veterinarian to administer a sedative.
The Benton Franklin Humane Society had 15 calls related to lost pets by Thursday morning, Zoesch said. The nonprofit does not take in stray animals and only accepts animals surrendered by owners.
Benton County's animal control was able to reunite one lost dog and its owner because of a microchip, said Keith Mercer, Benton County's animal control manager.
It also had another lost dog brought into the shelter and received calls from owners looking for three other lost dogs, he said.
Tammy Davenport, West Richland administrative assistant, had already taken reports on three pets -- a dog and a cat that were lost and one found dog. Police officers also received calls about found dogs, she said.
The officials recommended owners check lost and found ads in the Herald and on Craigslist and Petfinder online.
Mercer advises contacting the local shelters and filing reports with each, so if the pet is found, it can be returned to its owner.
Owners should keep looking for their pets because it may take time for an animal to be found, they said.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org