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People are ditching fireworks to comfort anxious shelter dogs on the 4th of July

People calm shelter dogs during fireworks dog-happy
© MCACC - Facebook

The 4th of July is an important holiday in the US. Also known as Independence Day, Americans all over the country celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, a contract which officially separated them from British rule.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 04/07/2019, 11:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:44

But today, the holiday is better known for barbecuing, lounging around in the sun, spending time with friends and family, and of course, watching the fireworks.

Fireworks aren’t fun for everyone

For many dog owners, however, the 4th of July is a dreaded holiday, which comes with a lot of stress and anxiety.

Some dogs do fine with fireworks. But others just can’t handle the loud noise and the unpredictability of it all. Due to this, many pets go missing on the 4th, while those who can’t escape will try their best to hide within their own home.

Caring owners may stay with their pets during fireworks, to help keep them calm and relaxed. But what about those who don’t yet have owners to comfort them? How do they survive this long night?

Celebrating kindness

Well, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in Arizona has got the answer. And it’s a pretty good one. So good, in fact, that shelters all over the US are adopting the trend themselves.


“Calming the Canines”, as it’s known, is an event which invites people in the community to spend the night at the shelter. During the firework raucous outside, volunteers are encouraged to speak, sing, or read to the dogs. Obviously, cuddles and treats are also distributed.


Amy Engel, who attended the event last year, told the Dodo: “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.”


This shelter has certainly proved that national holidays are about compassion and empathy.


We hope that pets and shelter animals alike stay safe and happy this 4th of July!