LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The day after Fourth of July, pet owners are already searching for animals who may have been scared away by the holiday's fireworks.
But employees at Lufkin's city shelter say that pet owners are likely to start searching for lost animals on social media before coming to look at the shelter.
"We went out looking around the neighborhood, drove around a little bit, but didn't see her anywhere," said pet owner, Edwin Quarles.
Quarles, owner of a two year-old Shih Tzu named Sophie, said he believes his dog was scared off by Wednesday night's fireworks.
His search continued on into Thursday, but Sophie was not found.
Quarles then went to social media and made a post, asking for help finding his dog.
Lufkin animal control officer Donna Milligan said posting on social media first is becoming a more popular choice for pet owners.
"A lot of people don't think about us," Milligan said. "Usually it's their last resort. That's the first thing you need to check with is us and keep checking back with us."
On a busy day, animal control officers can pick up anywhere between five and six animals.
But, Milligan added that animals scared by fireworks are different from the average stray.
"Usually with fireworks, they got really nervous, you know, so most of them is really scared and you have to really entice them with treats and things like that, you know, to get their confidence where they're trusting you and you're able to get ahold of them," Milligan said.
Quarles said he called the Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter pretty soon after posting on social media.
"We knew from last year and the year before Sophie was going to be scared and we should let her in the house," Quarles said. "We just didn't think about it before the neighbors started shooting off fireworks."
Quarles said he plans on doing anything he can to bring Sophie home.
"Sophie's part of the family," Quarles said. "The kids are kind of upset, which makes me a little upset."
If you or someone you know has lost an animal in the Angelina County area, employees at Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter encourage owners to check with them every day, as dogs and cats are usually brought in hourly.
The shelter is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.