People Skip 4th Of July Fireworks To Comfort Shelter Dogs

Fourth of July is always a tough holiday for dogs. 


The pups don’t understand why they’re hearing so many loud noises, and that can make them very nervous.


Dogs who have forever home are able to turn their owners for comfort. Many dog owners will play music or simply pet their dog to help soothe their anxiety.

Fourth of July is particularly tough for shelter dogs who don’t have anyone to turn to for comfort. To help their dogs, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) in Arizona decided to start a program called “Calm the Canines.”

MCACC started this program in 2018, and it was a huge success. Over 300 went to MCACC’s two shelters to comfort the pups.

“It was overwhelming to see how the community responded,” MCACC’S development director, Ben Swan, said in a press release. “It really helped spread our message that MCACC is here to help.”

Volunteers read to the dogs, played with them in their kennels, and simply cuddled with the pups. The dogs were so grateful to have people with them during this stressful day.

“We could see as people talked to the dogs and stroked their fur, their eyes were getting heavier and heavier,” public information officer Jose Santiago told The Dodo. “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.”

One volunteer, Amy Engel, described her experience volunteering on her Facebook page. She said the dogs loved all the attention.

“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.”

Many people bonded with the shelter pups after spending the Fourth of July with them, and they began regularly volunteering at the shelter. Some of the volunteers also adopted the shelter dogs!

“Many participants developed lasting relationships with the shelter, returning to provide foster care, adopt a pet or volunteer,” the MCACC wrote.

MCACC is running their Calm the Canines program again in 2019. In the description of Calm the Canine’s Facebook event, the shelter said that volunteers can sing to the dogs, read to them, or simply just sit with the pups and help them feel safe and calm. Over 150 people have said they’re going to come and help comfort the pups.


The Fourth of July is difficult for shelter dogs, but the pups are always calmer when they’re with kindhearted animal lovers. If you’d like to learn more about Calm the Canines, head to MCACC’s Facebook page.

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