Mesa family hopes tragic ending to dog search will raise awareness on fireworks' impact on pets

After the Fourth of July fireworks are over and the smoke clears, there are usually pet owners looking for their best friends who were spooked by the loud noises and escaped.

Family's search for lost dog turns tragic

"We lost our dog last night," said Austin Stumpf.

On July 5, Stumpf was putting up flyers along with members of his family in Mesa as they search for Sadie.

"We let the dogs out to go potty, and there wasn’t any fireworks going off," said Stumpf. "I turned around to let the other dog out and a firework went off, and my other dog disappeared."

Later in the day, the Stumpfs got a call that Sadie wouldn’t be coming home.

She was hit by a car.

Now, the Stumpfs hope their story will serve as a warning for other pet owners.

People pack Animal Control to search for lost pets

At Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, the line was out the door on July 5, as people looking for their pets, as well as people who found pets, gather at the facility.

"The fireworks were going on, and we were outside and we heard a noise going on, and this dog just appeared out of nowhere," said Eddie Ponce.

At MCACC, stray pets are kept for at least 72 hours, giving worried owners some time to come in and find their animals

"We had people come in this morning. That was probably a majority of the line, people trying to find their lost pet," said Monica Gery with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. "We have a Lost and Found Department. They'll file a report, try and match if a pet is lost, and if a pet is found, we try to match them together so the pet doesn’t have to come into our facility."

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