MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - On the Fourth of July, as the night sky lights up, lots of dogs run and hide. This year, dogs in the shelter at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office will get some special "TLC" from inmates.
The sheriff talked with FOX 35 about why this program works on so many levels. The dogs inside the shelter are up for adoption. Some of them come from troubled backgrounds, so getting them reacquainted with people is something Sheriff Wayne Ivy is committed to.
"It helps them to prepare for when they find their forever home, to be rehabilitated and integrated into that," Sheriff Ivey said.
On July 4th, 15 inmates will be taken from the jail to the shelter, and they'll have gifts for the dogs.
"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," Sheriff Ivey said. "It's healthy for them; it's not regular ice cream, it's for pets."
Then, after the refreshing treat, the inmates will read to the dogs as the fireworks go off, in the hope that will help mellow them -- story time to soothe shaky nerves.
"The upside for the inmates is they're learning to care for something, to be compassionate about something, and I think it's a win-win for everybody across the board," Ivey said.
Brevard County's SPCA has a compassion program coinciding with the Fourth of July, where people can interact with dogs and even foster them.