BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — One of the many families who evacuated the New Orleans area while Hurricane Ida approached is asking for your help finding their dog.

While stopping in Birmingham for gas and food, their Shih Tzu named Mr. Chubbs escaped his harness and sprinted off. After unsuccessfully looking for the dog for three hours, the owner Myriam Dominguez had to get back home to address the damages there might be to her home.

Mr. Chubbs or ‘chummies’ was last seen Thursday morning.

A group of New Orleans evacuees had grabbed food at the Downtown Birmingham Chick-fil-A location on 19th street and 5th Avenue N when Mr. Chubbs, a black and white Shih Tzu took off.

“My dog freaked out, slid out of his harness and just ran off,” Myriam Dominguez, one of the pup’s owners. “There was a police officer at the moment right there.”

According to Dominguez, the Birmingham Police Officer watched the kids as Dominguez took off running in the same direction as Mr. Chubbs.

“I was so mentally out of it that…I just kept walking up blocks,” Dominguez said. “I was screaming. People were just helping me. People probably thought I was crazy.”

After over three hours of searching, she and her group had to return to the New Orleans area uncertain how much of their houses remained. 

Lost dog signs hang on downtown Birmingham business windows as the community works to find the pup.

“At one point, I knelt down and started praying. I said please God, please bring my dog back. I don’t want to leave him in this city. I felt like I abandoned him. I cried the whole way home.”

Since leaving Birmingham, Dominguez has made major efforts to post on various Facebook pages and reach out to local news stations in the area. In fact, there’s a significant number of downtown residents that are on the lookout.

CBS 42 was downtown today when we saw someone passing out ‘missing dog’ flyers about Mr. Chubbs. 

“I have three little dogs and if I lost them at a time like this I would – I would want somebody to help me,” Tammy Headley said. “They’re helpless. They’re all the way back in New Orleans already and they’re not able to look for themselves.”

That effort and support she’s received from the Birmingham community, according to Dominguez, has made all the difference.

“Even though my dog’s not home yet and no one has found him yet, my prayers were answered that I have a group of amazing people in Birmingham. I don’t know any of them – all strangers but I want to tell them thank you so much. I really was helpless.”

The last time Mr. Chubbs or ‘Chummies’ was seen was on Thursday morning in the same general area as the aforementioned Chick-fil-A. If you have any information or find Mr. Chubbs, the Dominguez family asks you to call or text 504-320-6196.

“So many people in Birmingham are looking for my dog, she said. “It makes me feel less helpless.”