CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Every year, animal shelters around the area see an increase of lost dogs around the Fourth of July weekend.
This year, they say the problem is worse.
Coombs says Kiko isn't just a pet, he's family.
"I adopted him in hard times and he's been my little brother ever since," Coombs said. "It's been tough without him being gone even one day."
"In the past 24 hours, it's definitely different and weird not having him," Mikkelson added.
Kiko isn't the only missing pup around the Lowcountry right now.
"We're up close to 60 right now and we know we're going to see an increase as the day goes on," Pearl Sutton said. Sutton is the senior director of animal services at the Charleston Animal Society. She says a few of these nightmares have had happy endings. "We've had three dogs returned to owners and they were elated to know their dogs were safe."
Unfortunately for Coombs and Mikkelson, they're going to have to keep searching for Kiko.
"We didn't end up finding him but hopefully someone will sooner rather than later," Coombs said. "We'll be able to come back here for a reunion."
"He's like my little baby," Mikkelson said.
If you lose your pet, talk to neighbors, hand out flyers, post to social media sites, and visit all nearby shelters and rescues.
"You can't do too much. Use everything available to get that dog home," Sutton said.
"We're out here every day all day until we find him," Coombs said.