Every Fourth of July, animal shelters gear up for an influx of lost family pets.
The problem is fireworks, while exhilarating for humans, can be terrifying for cats and dogs.
Jacksonville resident Lesli Marsh witnessed the consequences of that terror with a rat-terrier puppy named Marlin.
“My family and I were at the Gator Bowl. We came by boat and my son was walking down the dock with his dog in his arms, and the fireworks started and the dog literally bolted out of his arms.”
Marsh said they spent eight days looking for Marlin, driving around neighborhoods and putting up more than a thousand lost-dog posters.
In the end, she said, two Jacksonville police officers recognized the puppy from the posters and brought him home.
“We took him to the vet and he had not eaten or had anything to drink for at least eight days and all the pads on his paws were completely gone,” he said.
Veterinarians said the best way to keep pets safe this July 4 is to keep them indoors.
They also recommend getting pets microchipped so they can be returned if they run away.
If you lose your pet or you find someone else's lost pet this weekend, contact your local animal shelter: