One Green Planet
Last year, on the Fourth of July in Phoenix, Arizona, the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control began an experimental program called “Calming Companions,” where they invited the public into their shelters to sit with the dogs and cats. The loud and constant noise of fireworks being set off over the holiday can be a terrifying ordeal for small animals, and even more so in the cramped conditions of a shelter.
Around 200 caring people came out to the event, visiting either of the control’s shelters. These wonderful volunteers brought their own chairs and blankets to sit on as they read, played music, and entertained the dogs. Staff at the shelters provided treats, toys, and games that helped keep the dogs and cats occupied, and the joint effort led to a great experience for everyone involved.
Here is what volunteer Amy Engel had to say: “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” … approximately 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.”