Inmates in one Florida jail will be spending part of Saturday evening -- the Fourth of July -- at an animal shelter, comforting dogs who are frightened by the sounds of fireworks exploding outside.
As Space Coast Daily reported, the days leading up to Independence Day can be pure hell for some dogs and cats. Fireworks exploding outside, whether from municipal displays or simply backyard revelers having fun with the consumer-grade pyrotechnics, may bring joy to humans. But dogs don't understand the connection, and to them, it's just a continuing series of terrifying noises.
While some pets may have the luxury of having human companions to help them get through it and comfort them, those in an animal shelter do not, and are basically left alone to suffer through the trauma on their own.
However, in Brevard County, Florida, local residents made a suggestion to the managers of the county's jail: have inmates spend the evening at the shelter, comforting the frightened dogs.
"What originally started as a suggestion by a number of our citizens turned into an amazing idea to help calm our homeless pets," said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
Ivey went on to say that inmates from the chain gang and other work crews will work at the Animal Care Center. Inmates will be playing with the dogs, reading to them, and even giving them treats.
Further, he noted that not only will the work assignment help the animals, it will help the inmates as well, by instilling in them compassion, a skill that will help them as they transition back into society.
He also noted that Florida had recently loosened up its once-tight fireworks laws. Where consumer-grade fireworks had once been illegal, residents of The Sunshine State are now allowed to deploy them on July 4, December 31, and January 1.
Though backyard fireworks are now legal in his state, Ivey asked residents to have some compassion for their neighbors and their pets and to try to limit their fireworks-related revelry to reasonable hours.
"As I always say, 'it takes a community to protect a community,' and this post is a perfect example of just how true that statement is," he said.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Americans have been spending more money on backyard fireworks of late, and criminal complaints about scofflaws illegally setting them off have also risen. The industry points to the fact that a lot of municipal fireworks displays are off this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so Americans are turning to the consumer-grade fireworks to celebrate.