Several adults and children joined staff members at the Northeast Missouri Humane Society to offer comfort, gifts to animals amid the sounds of July 4 fireworks

Several volunteers paid a visit to the animals at the Northeast Missouri Humane Society on Independence Day to celebrate by offering gifts and comfort from the loud noises of fireworks.

Kimberly Douglas, receptionist and social media specialist at the Northeast Missouri Humane Society, said the initial plans for the Fourth of July's peak fireworks time period called for a few staff members to be on hand to play with the dogs and cats and help provide comfort from the bangs and pops outside. She said a Facebook post shared the day before inspired several adults and children to come out for the evening, bringing stuffed animals, handing out frozen Bomb Pops and playing with the animals throughout the shelter. Each dog received a stuffed animal, and all of the shelter's furry friends got the chance to interact with the children and adults who stopped by.

Douglas said several of the children played with the cats and dogs inside their cages, and they helped keep them distracted from the loud sounds of fireworks. The children who came out were Ethan Romig, Tessa Janes, Libby Mehlenbacher and Bennett, Harrison and Luke Straube. They joined adult visitors Gloria Straube, Kathy Peters-Richards, Shannan Janes Meyer, Chris and Sarah Janes, Breck Tucker, Kathy Finney and Dana Blase and shelter staff members Douglas, Tanya Debary and Executive Director Janet Smith.

During the evening celebration, a donor stopped by to bring six bags of treats and three bags of food. Douglas stressed that donations go toward helping the animals at the shelter, as well as assisting local pet owners with food and offering spay and neutering services at half-cost to help control the local animal population. The animals and visitors enjoyed the time they shared for their Fourth of July celebration.
“It was awesome to see the turnout that we got,” Douglas said. “I think it was 13 adults and eight kids we had out here. The animals got pampered — some of the people brought bags of treats, too. They all got treats, stuffed animals and Bomb pops.”