Central Texas shelters prepare to comfort dogs spooked by Fourth of July fireworks


AUSTIN (KXAN) — While many humans delight in the technicolor glow of Fourth of July fireworks, their furry friends are often downright startled by the display.

Shelters across Central Texas have been preparing for the holiday and the influx of pets they expect in the days following.

Austin Animal Center, for example, takes in an average of 40 dogs per day, but last year from July 5-10, it took in 373 animals. AAC is closed to the public on the holiday, but staff and volunteers are still there working. The shelter expects an uptick in animals coming to them in the next week or so.

At Austin Pets Alive! volunteers are trying to get all the pets at the shelter walked before sundown — both to help tire them out before the holiday fanfare and also to ensure the dogs don’t need to go out when the fireworks are in the air. After the fireworks finish, a group of volunteers will take agitated dogs for an additional walk afterward. APA is located just across Lady Bird Lake from Austin’s big fireworks display, so the sound can be especially scary for some pets.

While news stories around the country are spreading about people headed into shelters to calm dogs spooked by the fireworks over the holiday, APA says that only trained volunteers can help out on this holiday — but they welcome anyone who is trained to come help out.

The Bastrop County Animal Center explained their volunteers came in on the Fourth to make sure that all the dogs got exercise. They also have radios playing to help block out some of the sound coming in from fireworks.

“We sincerely hope that everyone will take measures with their pets at home to ensure that they are safe,” said Ashley Hermans, the director of Animal Services for Bastrop County. “That includes bringing them indoors and having up to date collars and tags on just in case.”

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