Sheriff Wayne Ivey called the program "a win-win for everybody across the board"

By Helen Murphy
July 04, 2019 09:00 AM

Americans may love to celebrate Independence Day with colorful displays of fireworks, but our furry friends can find the loud noises distressing.

That’s why inmates at the Brevard County Jail in Florida will spend their holiday comforting shelter dogs, Sheriff Wayne Ivey explained in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Ivey began his post by thanking citizens who had volunteered to comfort the dogs at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Care Center on the Fourth of July, explaining that the canines often “get anxiety and frightened” during the celebrations.

“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,” Ivey said.

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Ivey explained that the inmates will comfort the dogs on Independence Day “by reading to them, playing with them, and even feeding them treats.”

The new program aims to not only help the dogs calm down on the holiday, 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 the have served their time,” he added.

According to FOX 35, many of the dogs in the shelter come from troubled backgrounds and cuddling with the inmates helps them get reacquainted with humans.

“It helps them to prepare for when they find their forever home, to be rehabilitated and integrated into that,” Ivey told the outlet.

RELATED: FDA Approves Drug for Dogs Distressed By Fireworks and Other Loud Noises

The outlet reports that 15 inmates will be moved from the jail to the shelter on the Fourth of July.

“They’ll serve the dogs some sorbet. We have an ice cream maker here in the jail, we use inmate labor, and we give them to the dogs,” Ivey explained, adding, “It’s healthy for them; it’s not regular ice cream, it’s for pets.”

After the dogs enjoy their sweet treat, they’ll also be read to and comforted by the inmates.

“I think it’s a win-win for everybody across the board,” Ivey said.

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