Published: Jul 05, 2010 7:37 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 05, 2010 4:47 PM EDT

Local animal shelters and vet clinics are getting lots of inquiries today about animals that ran away, because of loud fireworks in the neighborhood.   It's a big problem, after every July 4th.

"I estimate up to 15 percent of dogs are very vulnerable to loud noises.  Their ears are extra-sensitive.  They will tear up a house or run away from loud fireworks.  it is a big problem," said Dr. Dick Soughers of East Side Animal Hospital in Ft. Myers.    "If you can get the dog into a dark, secluded area and talk to the animal, that will help.   But dogs, if they get out, will run away," Dr. Soughers added.

East Side took in a young Boxer that apparently was roaming the neighborhood, frightened by fireworks.   The hospital also put up pictures of a missing,  adult Boxer that ran away from its home in Lehigh Acres, during loud fireworks Sunday night.

Megan Devecchis hopes to get her dog back.   She says the border collie mix ran away from the area in front of her apartment in No. Ft. Myers Sunday night.   "Little Bear has never done that before, ever.    He just took off, and kept running with every new round of fireworks,"  Devecchis told WINK.  "I am very distraught."

She and a friend put up flyers Monday, offering a cash reward for the return of the dog.

Lee Animal Services' shelter was closed on  Monday.   But its web-site has pictures of dogs that are brought in.    If you spot your pet among the 'strays', you can call Animal Services and leave a message, that you will pick up the pet in coming days.   The shelter opens to the public at 11:30AM  on Tuesday, July 6.