Jo Trizila
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In honor of Independence Day, Operation Kindness – North Texas original and largest no-kill animal shelter, wants to arm pet parents with information to keep their furry friends safe over the holiday weekend. The shelter will remain open until 5 p.m. on July 4 and would like to remind potential pet parents that long weekends are the best time to visit the shelter to bring home a new furry friend. To celebrate, Operation Kindness is offering an Independence Day incentive of 25 percent off your purchase at Pet Supplies Plus with all adoptions made from June 30 through July 4.

“I have two Greyhounds, two German Shepherds, a Labrador Retriever and a Miniature Dachshund. None of them show much anxiety when fireworks go off; however, there is a difference in their behavior when they hear them,” says Sandi Laird, Operation Kindness’ animal care director. “All of them want to cuddle with our human family members or be in the same room where we are. If we go into another room, including the bathroom, they follow. We do not make a big issue of the sounds and just try to act normally. This seems to assure the dogs that they are safe. Three of the dogs sleep with me and the other three sleep with other family members. All is peaceful at night.”

Sandi and the team at Operation Kindness have put together a list of safety tips to keep in mind when celebrating the holiday weekend with your furry friends. 

  • Pet parents should consider keeping dogs inside the house if fireworks are being set off anywhere in the vicinity. Dogs can easily be distracted not only by the noise, but by the fire and the actions of people around them.
  • Provide your pet with a comfy crate or bed to help them feel safe and relaxed.
  • To help mask the noise of loud fireworks, turn on the TV or radio.
  • Keep your pet busy and distracted with toys like a Kong filled with treats.
  • If you are expecting guests, keep in mind that many dogs and cats do not like to be around strangers and can become easily confused with extra people in the house. To reduce anxiety, consider keeping pets in another part of the house and away from the front door to prevent them from darting out.
  • If a dog likes meeting new people, keep him or her on a leash when answering the door. Also know that not all children (or adults) like being greeted by a dog.
  • To ensure your pet’s safe return if it becomes separated from you, make sure it is wearing a collar and identification tags, and has an up-to-date microchip.
  • If you are planning on bringing your dog with you to festivities, please use extreme caution when fireworks begin.


“We wish pets and their parents a Happy 4th and hope that everyone will celebrate the holiday safely,” states Sandi Laird.


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