A pet owner hopes her story will help keep furry friends' safe this New Year's Eve after her family dog ran away Christmas Eve when fireworks scared her off.

For about a week Stacy Murray desperately searched for Lola, her four-legged companion for more than a decade. Lola wasn't wearing a collar when she ran off but had been microchipped.

Worried about Lola, the family created a Facebook page to help find her and hundreds of people helped spread the word.

Murray followed several leads, many she says led nowhere, until Sunday when she received a text message from a stranger, later identified as Stephanie Nunn.

“It says hey, I found your dog,” Murray said.

Nunn also attached a picture and it was all Murray needed to know it was her Lola.

She quickly called Nunn and they met at a Walmart parking lot where Lola was found, about 21 miles away from home.

Robert Salinas says he was working overnight at Walmart when his co-worker witnessed someone drop off Lola in the parking lot. With the days getting colder he took her home until they could find her owner.

"He brought her home and the kids they loved her they named her Sugar, " his wife Stephanie Nunn said.

Nunn says they had her for a few days before they found out Murray was searching for her.

When Murray met Nunn and her husband in the parking lot she cried and hugged Nunn, thanking her countlessly for caring for Lola.

Murray hopes her agonizing experience won't happen to other pet owners as fireworks take to the sky on New Year's.

The City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, ACS, is advising pet owners to put their four legged friends in a quiet place closed off inside a home and are warning people to never leave a pet alone outside.

Murray believes more than one person picked up Lola and left her at various locations, never reaching out to find her owner. She hopes her story will inspire people to go the extra mile and care for lost pets.

“If you see a stray dog just take it to a shelter, take it to a vet clinic,” Murray said. “Don't dump a dog out especially if it's cold outside, all I ask is that you just take it to the right place.”

ACS will be closed on until January 2, 2018 but Animal Care Officers will be working.