PHOENIX — Instead of ringing in the New Year with fireworks and parties, consider offering companionship to shelter pets in need.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control is inviting the public to its shelters to help "Calm the Canines." Animal lovers can come and listen to soft music, read, sing or just hang out with a shelter dog to offer distractions from scary noises outside of the shelter. In years prior, hundreds of people have shown up to offer their companionship to pets in need.
"Dogs hear fireworks at a much higher decibel than we all do and because of that the fireworks can make them nervous and scared," a shelter spokesperson said. "The mere presence of an individual sitting with them can give them a sense of calm that they need."
This year, the annual event will begin at 11 p.m. and go until 12:30 a.m.
Those who attend will receive a voucher for 50% off the adoption of the animal they sit with during the event.
WHAT TO KNOW:
- Doors will open shortly before 11 p.m. There will be a brief orientation before guests will be lead to the kennels.
- There are no age restrictions for attendees. However, children (anyone under 18) MUST be accompanied by an adult.
- You do not need to register beforehand.
- People are asked to bring blankets or chairs to sit on while they are here.
- No alcohol will be permitted on property.
IF YOU GO:
- West shelter: 2500 S. 27th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ, 85009 - (27th Avenue, south of Durango)
- East shelter: 2630 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, AZ 85201 - (Loop 101 / Rio Salado Parkway)