The shelter can be a very scary place for a dog. On the Fourth of July, that experience becomes even more frightening for dogs everywhere—but especially in the shelter. The sound of fireworks can be stressful and scary for dogs, so to help ease the stress of the experience, a shelter in Arizona tried a unique idea. The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control facility knows about the stress dogs feel around fireworks, so public information officer Jose Santiago reached out to the public on social media. He asked for volunteers to pay a visit to the two shelters located in the Maricopa County area of Arizona.
The goal was to comfort the dogs and give them company while fireworks were going off in the area. They really just wanted to provide a calm environment for the dogs, and it seems the community was more than ready to step up and help. Over one hundred people arrived at the two shelter locations, with chairs to sit in outside the crates. Many people brought books to read to the dogs while many others brought their guitars or ukuleles to play music. Other visitors just wanted to sit and pet the dogs for a few hours, which seemed to make all the difference to the shelter dogs.
Jose Santiago said the dogs loved the attention, many of whom quickly fell asleep after people talked to them and stroked their fur. It was incredible how powerful the human touch and presence was for all those dogs. While the dogs in the shelter are given a chance to roam and exercise, staff had all of them in their kennels by 7:00 pm because fireworks can trigger a flight response in dogs and they wanted them to be as safe as possible. In addition to helping the dogs, shelter staff hopes events like this can continue to remind the public how great shelter dogs are—and what great pets they make!