While the shelter normally permits volunteers to walk and play with the dogs, the staff realized their kennels were the safest, most secure spots for the dogs to be that evening. Fireworks can often trigger a flight response in dogs, so after 7 p.m., each pup was settled into their kennel for the night.
“We also had volunteers walking around spraying a bit of lavender oil [which promotes relaxation], and had classical music playing through the speakers,” Santiago said. “All of those things, in combination with the volunteers, really helped.”
While Santiago admits the “Calming Canines” event was somewhat of an experiment, there’s no doubt the shelter will be employing the same routine for next July 4th, and on New Year's Eve.