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MAS uses old, new tools to reunite lost pets with owners after fireworks

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Every year local shelters deal with lost pets after the Fourth of July as many animals get scared by fireworks.

This year was no different.

As of 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Memphis Animal Services had taken in 14 lost pets.

“Dogs are not a fan of the Fourth of July," said MAS Director Alexis Pugh. "I’ve heard jokes: PTSD Day for dogs. The loud noises; they don’t understand it.”

That can cause them to find a way to break out of their home and get lost.

“Time is always of the essence," said Pugh. "The sooner you can get that pet back home, the better.”

Memphis Animal Services said they are using new tools to try and help speed up that process.

They’ve posted their daily intake lists of lost animals on the Nextdoor app in the neighborhood where they were found and also in surrounding neighborhoods.

“That’s probably a really good idea; lots of people are on them, so if people can find your dogs, that’s amazing," said dog-owner Elyse Martucci. "I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my dogs.”

They've also been using Nextdoor for the past two months.

Workers reported a 13 percent increase in the number of lost animals that were reunited with their owners compared to the same time last year.

However, they can't say for sure what caused that increase.

While social media is a great tool, MAS still recommended getting all pets microchipped and using a variety of methods to find them if lost.

“Signs [and] searches right there in your community, social media, you got to get the word out ASAP and then absolutely coming to the shelters," said Pugh.

If you’re bringing in a stray dog to MAS, the surrender hours are from 12 - 4 p.m. and you must be in line by 3:30 p.m.

Here are more social media sites to look for or report lost or stolen dogs:

-Lost and Found Pets of the Mid-South

-Memphis Animal Services

-Memphis Animal Services