Booming fireworks scare off Summerville veteran’s emotional support dog

Booming fireworks scare off Summerville veteran’s emotional support dog

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Independence Day holiday is one of the most dangerous days for pets because of the loud fireworks displays, according to the Charleston Animal Society.

“By far, we see more pets turn up missing right after the Fourth of July than any other time of year,” CEO Joe Elmore said.

Collin Kohlhepp’s dog, Leia, is included in that statistic.

But Leia is more than a domestic companion, she is a trained emotional support dog for Kohlhepp, a retired Navy airman.

“She was freaking out, and they opened the door just to get a better view of the fireworks and she just bolted - she's so fast,” he said, recalling his Summerville neighborhood’s fireworks display this past weekend. “No one was able to catch her in time.”

Leia was missing for three days before she was spotted by a neighbor. Leia and Kohlhepp were reunited today.

Kohlhepp said his plans for the evening of the actual holiday will not include the outdoors.

“I will be inside with my pup,” he said. “I will be in here with her in my lap. I'll make sure she's as comfortable as I am.”

The Charleston Animal Society suggests keeping pets inside or putting them on leashes during fireworks displays.

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