How do you like to spend the July Fourth holiday? Cookouts are fun and lots of people love watching fireworks. However, these beautiful displays terrify many animals, especially dogs. So, to help soothe the stress for their residents, one Phoenix, Arizona shelter invited volunteers to stay with their pups on the holiday. The results were heart-melting.
Offering Solace to Anxious Pups
Last year, the folks at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control started a new program for their cats and dogs. They named it “Calming Companions.” The first event was on July Fourth. The shelter invited members of their community to sit with the dogs and cats during the bombastic patriotic displays.
Fireworks can startle and scare small animals. When dogs and cats live in shelters, they are confined to small spaces. The situation is stressful enough, but add in the uncertainty and loud noises, and the animals can become quite anxious.
To help out their cats and dogs, Maricopa County invited members of the public to support them. Boy, did the public respond with gusto!
Faith in Humanity Restored
More than 200 individuals showed up to the two Maricopa County shelters. Employees gave them a short safety orientation. Then the volunteers were allowed to spend time with the dogs and cats. The animals stayed in their kennels, while volunteers sat next to them to show their emotional support.
And support they did! Some volunteers read to the dogs. Some sat in darkened rooms with them, saying soothing things. They reached into the kennels to give pets. Adults and children alike came to help the animals in need.
Tails wagged while volunteers walked up and down the kennels. The volunteers brought chairs and blankets for comfortable seating. They played music to the pups. Staff members gave the animals treats, toys and games to distract them from the loud noises.
Amy Engel described the event on her Facebook page
Ever thought about bringing your dog to crowded places? even worse, crowded places with fireworks? I promise you dogs don’t like it. Tonight was the first year Maricopa County animal Shelter presented “Comfort the Canines” …approx. 200 people came to help the pooches. Some people sang to them, some people read to them, some people just sat there and gave treats! it was so so awesome because the dogs absolutely love the attention and were focused on the people and not the fireworks going on outside.❤compasionate people
We agree, Amy! What a wonderful way to show love to animals in need.
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