As fireworks exploded all around them on New Year's Eve, they were in a world of pain.
Many traumatised dogs in the Illawarra scratched through fences and ran away from the trauma of the loud bangs surrounding them.
The RSPCA was inundated yesterday with lost dogs and owners searching for their beloved pets.
Out of the 31 dogs the RSPCA received between New Year's Eve and 2pm yesterday, 14 were reunited with their owners.
Dapto's Morgan Anstee was reunited with his staffie Loki when he collected her at Unanderra's RSPCA on New Year's Day.
But his border collie, Axel, was still missing, he said.
"We've been driving around a lot this morning, worrying about them," he said.
His partner Jenna Hogan said the house was fully secured with fences, but the dogs still got out during the fireworks.
"We've got cameras on our house, so we actually watched them this morning and they'd just ripped the fence," she said.
Unanderra RSPCA shelter manager Judith Wright urged people to bring dogs they found to the shelter to get scanned for micro chips.
"When someone comes to pick up an animal from us, we require proof that the person is the owner of the dog," she said.
"We sight licences and have people's identification."
Dogs were more sensitive than humans and heard the fireworks at a much higher decibel, she said.
"They hear a much higher and louder range than us," she said.
"They just get petrified and run away from the noise, it's literally painful for them. I urge people, if they have lost a pet to come in and look for them and keep checking."
Bulli dog owner Daniel Millar said he spent the whole night searching for his English and American staffie cross, Bud.
He was devastated when he came out of the RSPCA without his "best mate".
"I was out last night celebrating New Year's and I got home about three o'clock, then went and checked the back yard and no dog," he said.
"Then went searching for him and couldn't find him, walked the streets and then I called a taxi and went searching the streets.
"Went driving around in a taxi for about an hour, then got home at about six o'clock and sat out the front.
"It's hard when it's your best mate. He's only young, he's only three. He's gotten out before, so I put steel mesh around the perimeter, over the wooden lattice, and he still got through."