LUBBOCK, TX -- Lubbock Animal Services is warning pet owners to keep an extra eye on their animals during windy conditions
"Out numbers can easily double or even triple, depending on how bad the wind is," according to their Jackie Stephens.
Stephens works with lost dogs almost every single day. When the winds pick up, she says there's a whole lot more of them that need to be found.
"Oh, I've been out in the field in windy conditions, it can double our number real fast and in a hurry," she says.
She says it's because wind gusts are notorious for blowing open gates, letting dogs out of their yards. She's even seen a whole fence just blow over.
"That's how we're seeing a lot of the animals, gates not being properly secured," she says. "Sometimes the latches wiggle loose, sometimes it just catches a good wind and it pops it open."
Bad weather can spook animals, giving them further incentive to run away. That's why Stephens says ID tags are always a must. And when in doubt, there's nothing wrong with bringing your pets inside.
"If you've got a garage, put them in there, or even if you've got a bathroom," she says. "It's not cruel, it's keeping them safe."
If you notice your pet is missing, Animal Services says do not waste any time, get in touch with them as soon as possible. Animals with tags go to the shelter off the Southeast Loop. Non-tagged will be at 401 North Ash.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.