'Calm the Canines': Volunteers needed at Maricopa County Animal Care & Control shelters on New Year's Eve

While the city rings in the new year, volunteers are needed to help keep animals calm at the shelters at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

"People come in, families and they sit with the animals, they sing to the animals, they read to the animals," Jose Santiago said. "Sometimes, just pressing their hand against their kennel is enough to calm them down."

Loud sounds of celebration, like fireworks and loud music, make most animals go bonkers. Programs like "Calm the Canines" help to keep the shelter dogs both safe and relaxed.

The shelter is hoping that this will be love-at-first-sight for a lot of the families and volunteers that will be here later on tonight. They're even adding a little extra incentive.

"A lot of times after these events, we've seen people come back and want to volunteer," Santiago said. "They want to help out in any way and in a lot of cases they want to adopt."

So this year, the shelter is doing something different -- volunteer and maybe take a pup home.

"We're offering a voucher, so if you come in and hang out with your canine companion, you get a voucher that you can return and adopt that canine companion for 50% off," Santiago said.

For a couple of hours, tonight, volunteers will celebrate the new year with animals in need of a forever home.

Calming the Canines on New Year's Eve
Dec. 31, 11pm to Jan. 1, 12:30am
Maricopa County Animal Care & Control Centers
2500 S. 27th Ave., Phoenix, 85009
2630 E. Salado Parkway, Mesa, 85201