Maricopa County to open shelters for "calming companions"

All pet owners know how crazy animals can get with the 4th of July fireworks going off, and the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control is trying something new this year to keep animals calm.

Wherever you live, you'll most likely hear the fireworks going off from some event nearby, and if you don't have your own pets and want to help out, this will be perfect for you, as the shelter is opening up their doors for the public to help them keep their animals calm.

"What started out as an experiment really like kind of exploded for us, and we're getting emails and phone calls," said Jose Santiago with Maricopa Animal Care and Control. Santiago says he posted a video on the shelter's Facebook page, and got an amazing response.

"What can we do to keep the animals as calm as possible? Well, we know human interaction, human touch is one of the best ways to keep an animal calm and feeling comfortable," said Santiago.

Jose says you can stop by at either of the two Maricopa County shelters from 7:30 to 10 p.m., this 4th of July. Then, you'll go though a quick safety orientation before spending some quality time with the dogs and cats.

"We're not going to allow people to take the dogs out of the kennels and walk them around because we don't want to expose them to the elements and spook them out even further, but we're going to do a safety course with them. These are the do's, these are the don'ts," said Santiago.

You can bring your blanket, chairs, calming music, anything to keep the animals calm and you and your family comfortable.

"We'll also be giving them some treats and some puzzles and toys to occupy their mind, to get their mind off her what's going on around them," said Santiago.

Santiago says calming oils, as well as vitamins can help keep your pets at ease. There are also compression jackets at pet stores which also work well in comforting your dog.

Every year, many dogs go missing during 4th of July, after getting startled by the loud noises and fireworks. Maricopa County has posted a map its shelter's webpage to help you find your pet.

MCACC Stray Animals Map