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Volunteers To Comfort North Side Shelter Dogs During July 4th Fireworks

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- While people enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July, dogs can be terrified by them. So a group of volunteers will comfort dogs at a local animal shelter today.

The Humane Animal Rescue on the North Side is not far from Point State Park -- where fireworks will be set off for the city's Independence Day festivities.

The loud noises can overwhelm dogs, making them anxious and stressed. A 2015 study found that canines are more scared of fireworks than gunshots or thunderstorms.

So, a spokesperson for the North Side shelter says, the director of volunteer services decided to reach out to volunteers on Facebook to see if any would be willing to comfort their furry friends during the pyrotechnic display.

Several volunteers responded saying they would be willing to forgo their own celebrations to make sure the dogs wouldn't be scared.

They'll be prepared with calming music, books and lots of love and support to give the animals during the event, according to the spokesperson.

Veterinary staff will ensure anxious dogs don't harm themselves or others by supplying sedatives.

"Given the proximity to the fireworks it only seems fair to give them some pharmaceutical support," said Dr. Ariella Samson, chief veterinary officer. "We just need to make sure to understand they may go into fight or flight mode from panic and become dangerous because of this."

And fight or flight is real for canines on the Fourth of July -- according to the Humane Society, animal shelters across the U.S. report a spike in lost pets around the holiday.

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