Wishing all people and animals a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Dog With Flag BandannaFor all of us in animal welfare in the U.S., Independence Day is a holiday with two sides.

We’ve seen how many pets, community cats, and wild animals are terrified and injured because of fireworks fears, as well as the rise in stray intake, primarily of dogs, reported by many animal shelters.

But the Fourth of July is also a day we celebrate freedom and independence, and honor the ideals our nation was founded on.

We at the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at UF hope for a day when those two experiences won’t be in conflict, and when we’ll find a way to celebrate this day without harming animals.

Until then, we wish all of you and the animals with whom you share your lives, those in your care, and those in the community will have a safe and happy Independence Day!