West Des Moines firework show next to animal shelter spooks

West Des Moines’ official fireworks display used to be at Raccoon River Park. But the last few years the city’s lit them off on Mills Civic Parkway, causing some stress for the pets across the street at Furry Friends Refuge.Fourth of July celebrations are exciting time for most, but shelter director Britt Gagne says the loud booms can easily spook the shelter pets. Volunteers and staff are there to help, trying to get dogs tired and fed before the display kicks off. Once the sky starts to turn red, white and blue, they crank up music to drown out the loud booms.”For animals who are specifically really sensitive to noise, we do have some medication to try to help them through,” Gagne said. “But it’s just something we we have to work through with them.”They’ve been working to get animals adopted or into foster homes before tonight’s big show, but say they’re still almost completely full. “It is a very, very busy season for shelters, particularly this year, shelters across the nation have had an enormous amount of dogs that are in need,” she said. She expects it to get even busier. “Many animals who are let outside during firework displays, they get scared they tend to run off,” Gagne said. “We do expect we will see a fair number of strays who will come in from those communities to our building today as well. So we are working throughout the day to notify owners and try to get them reunified during the holiday.”They encourage all owners to keep pets inside during the fireworks and give them a safe, quiet spot to hide during the noise.You can find more information about what pets are available for adoption here.

West Des Moines’ official fireworks display used to be at Raccoon River Park. But the last few years the city’s lit them off on Mills Civic Parkway, causing some stress for the pets across the street at Furry Friends Refuge.

Fourth of July celebrations are exciting time for most, but shelter director Britt Gagne says the loud booms can easily spook the shelter pets.

Volunteers and staff are there to help, trying to get dogs tired and fed before the display kicks off. Once the sky starts to turn red, white and blue, they crank up music to drown out the loud booms.

“For animals who are specifically really sensitive to noise, we do have some medication to try to help them through,” Gagne said. “But it’s just something we we have to work through with them.”

They’ve been working to get animals adopted or into foster homes before tonight’s big show, but say they’re still almost completely full.

“It is a very, very busy season for shelters, particularly this year, shelters across the nation have had an enormous amount of dogs that are in need,” she said.

She expects it to get even busier.

“Many animals who are let outside during firework displays, they get scared they tend to run off,” Gagne said. “We do expect we will see a fair number of strays who will come in from those communities to our building today as well. So we are working throughout the day to notify owners and try to get them reunified during the holiday.”

They encourage all owners to keep pets inside during the fireworks and give them a safe, quiet spot to hide during the noise.

You can find more information about what pets are available for adoption here.

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