Humane Society Prepares For Nervous Animals During July 4th Fireworks

Danville, VA - Not everyone is excited about fireworks for the 4th of July. Lots of dogs and other animals can get really nervous when they hear the loud sounds. In fact, at the Danville Area Humane Society, they need extra volunteers to help keep the animals calm.

Danville's Fourth of July fireworks go off right above the Humane Society. And while that is great for onlookers who sometimes gather right outside the building, it can be a big problem for all of the animals just inside.

For the past 18 years, Lynn Shelton has traded watching fireworks on the Fourth of July for watching dogs. That's because as President of the Board of Directors for the Danville Area Humane Society, he knows how stressful this holiday can be for our furry friends.

"Some of them will get very nervous, get very agitated, they will charge the fence, some will curl up in the corner and shiver, other ones it doesn't bother," said Shelton.

"Whenever the Danville Braves or the city set off fireworks, we are prepared. We dread it because we know how horrible it is for the animals," said Paulette Dean, Executive Director of the Danville Area Humane Society.

Shelton and a handful of other staff members will do their best to calm an estimated 20 to 30 dogs that panic when the fireworks start. He says some dogs have even hurt themselves trying to escape the noise.

"The dogs do not understand what is going on. They do not understand that it is a celebration. They just hear a loud boom," says Shelton.

While there isn't much you can do to help, Shelton says he will softly talk to the animals to hopefully reassure them. At home, experts say pet owners should make sure their dogs are locked inside.

Lynn Shelton, President of Board of Directors At Danville Area Humane Society "Don't let them outside during fireworks. We get a large number of reports the next day of missing animals."

Dean says July 5th is one of their biggest days for missing pets.

"Keep ID on your animals, keep them inside and keep talking to them quietly," says Dean.

If your dog does have a problem with the noise, experts recommend to close windows and blinds. If the anxiety seems extreme, you may even want to take them to a vet for treatment.