Brevard County in Florida introduced a new program where inmates and other work crews are given the chance to visit the county's Animal Care Center to comfort dogs during the peak hours of Independence Day celebrations.
On the Fourth of July, a number of inmates from a Florida jail spent their time cuddling with shelter dogs instead of watching fireworks.
While fireworks are considered a staple of the Fourth of July experience, the loud explosions can be very traumatic for dogs, and can cause them a lot of distress and anxiety.
This was the main reason behind Brevard County’s program.
"While we greatly appreciate the offer of assistance and truly love the fact that our community partners with us to help our homeless pets, our agency has designed a new program that will not only help our dogs but will also help add purpose to the lives of inmates incarcerated at the Brevard County Jail," Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey wrote.
In his Facebook post, Ivey stated:
"Our goal is to not only help calm the dogs but also to help build and instill a sense of purpose and compassion in the inmates that will hopefully aid them as they transition back into society once they have served their time."
He added: "I want to personally thank everyone who offered to spend their 4th of July evening comforting our homeless pets, as we are truly blessed to have such amazing support from our community!! 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!!"