Jose Santiago, Public Information Officer for Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, sent out a special request for volunteers. He asked that volunteers visit two shelters in this small Arizona town on July 4th.
“Shelters can be a very stressful place for animals,” Santiago told The Dodo. “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?’”
That night, as millions of people across the country gathered for July 4th fireworks, more than 100 volunteers went to the shelters to provide the dogs some comfort.
After 7pm, the dogs were restricted to their kennels to ensure that no pups got into ‘fight or flight’ mode when hearing the loud fireworks.
But that was no problem at all; volunteers came armed with books to read the dogs, instruments to play them music, and of course, hands ready to deliver pets and pets galore!
The volunteers really pulled out all the stops; some walked around spraying lavender oil to promote calm and relaxation. Classical music played from the speakers, too.
“We could see as people talked to the dogs and stroked their fur, their eyes were getting heavier and heavier,” 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.”
A Successful Event
Overall, Santiago believes the Calming Canines Event was a big hit and hopes to put on the same event on New Years Eve.
Of course, he also hopes that this event stirred some interest in adopting – whether now or in the future.
“We’re so grateful to the community for their help with this,” Santiago said. “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.”
Share this inspiring story to encourage your family and friends to volunteer (and adopt) at their local shelters!