Fireworks are amazing and beautiful for us, but the worst for our four-legged best friends. People gather and watch but what about your doggo at home? Some people will leave the TV or radio on, but some pups don’t get that privilege. The dogs of the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control center were going to be faced with being alone on this Patriotic day, but volunteers made that not have to happen.
Jose Santiago put out a call to action saying that the shelter needed people to come hang with the puppers. It’s safe to say that his community came through!
Santiago spoke to The Dodo and said:
“Shelters can be a very stressful place for animals. When you add the loud noises of exploding fireworks, that makes them even more anxious. We asked ourselves, ‘What can we do to make this night as calm for them as possible?’”
Over a hundred people showed up at two of the shelter’s locations to hang with dogs instead of watch explosions in the sky. Kids came and read their favorite books to the dogs. Others brought instruments to soothe the pups with some tunes.
Santiago continued to say:
“We could see as people talked to the dogs and stroked their fur, their eyes were getting heavier and heavier. Many would lay down right at their kennels’ edge and fall asleep. That right there speaks volumes to how important the human touch is for those animals.”
Normally the shelter lets volunteers walk the dogs but they figured that they would feel most comfortable in their kennels. They also had shelter staff walking around spraying lavender oil which helps relax the dogs. To top all of that they had classical music playing over the speakers. Basically the dogs got to go to the spa for the night instead of freaking out about the fireworks!
Due to the success of the “Calming Canines” event, Santiago said they would keep it going next July 4th as well as for New Year’s Eve.
Other than having a great event for their current dogs, he also wanted to make sure people take this opportunity to understand how important microchipping their pets are. Some dogs can get out on the Fourth of July and it’s known that the 5th is the most stressful days for shelters of the year. So with your dog microchipped, you can make sure that even if you do lose your dog, you’ll be able to find him or her after.
“We’re so grateful to the community for their help with this. They’ve proven that when we put the call out, they’ll step forward time and time again. We’re hopeful that those who showed up to do this will be encouraged to volunteer throughout the year, and were also inspired to adopt.”
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