Dogs are notoriously scared of the bright, noisy fireworks that ignite American skies every Fourth of July – and shelter pups have no one to soothe them.

Thankfully, the canines at this animal shelter in Phoenix, Arizona felt like they had a caring family on this year’s Independence Day.

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control launched their first ever “Comforting Companions” initiative in which they asked volunteers to spend their holiday evening calming the nervous dogs.

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And the shelter was delighted when 200 people arrived, eager to help.

“Some people sang to them, some people read to them, some people just sat there and gave treats!” says shelter work Amy Engel. “It was so so awesome because the dogs absolutely love the attention and were focused on the people and not the fireworks going on outside.”

Additionally, Engel’s photos of the Calming Companions event were shared so widely on Facebook, they were eventually picked up by several online news outlets. Now, the photos are reportedly inspiring other American animal shelters to adopt similar initiatives next year.

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The shelter praised the participants on Facebook, saying “Because of YOUR kindness, many more shelters are planning on participating next year so I hope you will reach around and pat yourself on the back!”

“We remain very grateful to all of you and hope you will consider joining us as ‘regular’ volunteers,” they added.

(WATCH the sweet video below)

Share The Pawesome Idea With Your Community!Photo by Amy Engel

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