MCLEAN, Ill. (WCIA) — The moment fireworks start every Fourth of July, Lisa Dunn will shut all windows and hold her trembling dog in her arms.

“It’s so scared, you know it’s undeniably the worst thing that can happen,” Dunn said.

Photo courtesy of Ruby’s Rescue & Retreat Facebook page

As a pet owner and volunteer at Ruby’s Rescue and Retreat in McLean, Dunn has promoted “make a difference not a noise” for years. The rescue is asking people to buy animal food instead of firecrackers for July 4. Dunn said this movement helps pets cope with the holiday without fear.

Dogs cannot handle loud noises because of their strong hearing ability, Dunn said. As unpredictable sound triggers dogs nervous systems, some will urinate, paralyze or rush into busy highways.

“I’m not saying I don’t like fireworks,” Dunn said. “I love them too, but I like the city to take care of animals.”

Ruby’s Rescue and Retreat encourages community members to spend the money they would have used for firecrackers on food donations to any local shelter instead. “Just take that money and put it on something that helps pets as opposed to hurts them,” Dunn said. “It’s a great way to help the community out.”

Dunn also suggests pet owners prepare their animals before the big day by showing fireworks on tv at a low volume, observing pets’ reactions and slowly turning the volume up to help animals get used to the sound.