Written by Michelle Kretzer
Every Fourth of July, I end up with an
80-pound lap dog. From the moment the first firecracker pops, my German
shepherd mix, Hannah, tries to convince me that she's not that heavy and that
the best way for us to mark the holiday is with her squashed up against my
legs. Fortunately, there are some ways for both of us to survive Independence Day fireworks without my losing my independence to a
canine-inflicted leg injury:
Dennis from Atlanta|cc by 2.0
Also, although Hannah isn't the type to
bolt if she gets startled, many dogs do dig under fences, tear through screen
doors and windows, and even chew
their way out of crates (another reason why crates are a bad idea) when they’re afraid, so I've got her
microchipped and I keep her collar and tags on her during the fireworks, just in case. If
you know anyone who makes their dog stay outside, please urge them to keep the
dog indoors at least on the Fourth of
July in order to prevent him or her from escaping or getting injured.
Here's to a safe and stress-free Independence
Day for you and your pooch!
Written by PETA
Ah, Independence Day. Old Glory, veggie dogs, and terrified canines cowering under the bed. At least, that's usually what it consists of in my household. For animals, fireworks aren't festive—they're frightening and sometimes even fatal. Many dogs and cats flee in terror during fireworks displays, jumping over fences and even breaking through windows. They can be injured, struck by a vehicle, or lost and never found.
Here are some suggestions for keeping furry loved ones safe this holiday weekend:
Happy Independence Day to you and all your family members.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Fireworks are being blamed for the recent deaths of 5,000 birds in Arkansas. The professional-grade explosives scared red-winged blackbirds and European starlings out of their nests and sent them into panicked flight. The night-blind birds crashed into houses, signs, and other obstacles, causing blunt-force trauma and death.
As this case shows, fireworks displays are disastrous for animals. Besides being frightening, fireworks produce plumes of smoke that are harmful to animals' respiratory systems and pollute standing water. The California Coastal Commission banned the city of Gualala's fireworks display after a 2006 show caused nesting seabirds to flee their nests and abandon their chicks. Fireworks are also being blamed for the deaths of about 50 birds found dead on a street in Sweden earlier this year. Animal shelters also report an increase in the number of lost animal companions following fireworks displays. Many animals go missing because they panic and jump over fences or break chains; some even jump through plate-glass windows in order to get away from the terrifying sounds.
You can help birds and other animals by asking officials in your town to ban fireworks and switch to laser light shows, which provide all the awe of fireworks displays but are more affordable and kinder to animals and the environment.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Animals in Jersey City can rest a lot easier this Fourth of July now that a planned fireworks display has been canceled because of a lack of funds. We're asking city officials to end all future fireworks displays and replace them with less costly, more entertaining laser light shows instead.
Fireworks sound like all-out war to dogs, cats, and wildlife and can have devastating consequences. Just ask J.J., the terrified dog Karin wrote about in her recent blog post. My dog, Henry, and I are planning to just chill at home this year and have our own little laser light show (which consists of him chasing a laser pointer). Good times.
You, too, can ensure that a good (and safe) time is had by everyone in your household by following these dog-and-cat-approved fireworks survival tips. And of course, Happy Fourth of July!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
For many Americans, Fourth of July celebrations represent copious amounts of barbecue, beer, and fireworks. But for animals, the holiday means terror, thanks to the thunderous explosions that typically start days before the official holiday and never seem to end. Desperate to escape the ear-shattering booms of fireworks displays, even the coolest cats will scatter and the most docile dogs will chew, dig, claw, and otherwise try to break free from their confines and run for the hills. After all, their hearing is much more sensitive than ours.
Such escapes take place all over the country, and one story made national headlines last year: Knowing that their dog, J.J., feared fireworks, Spokane police thought it would be a good idea to lock him in a kennel. Wrong answer.
J.J. was so terrified by the fireworks that he used his teeth to bend open the steel latch to his kennel in order to escape. J.J. was found the next day—but countless dogs who flee are lost for days—or forever. Any animal shelter employee will tell you that the number of lost dogs and cats skyrockets every year after Fourth of July fireworks celebrations.
PETA needs your help as we collect data to strengthen efforts to convince communities across the country to celebrate with spectacular laser light shows instead of noisy fireworks displays. Until my city cans the explosions, I'll celebrate Independence Day inside, practicing these helpful tips for calming my dogs and cats. My curtains will be drawn, and I'll be playing Beethoven to drown out the neighborhood noise. After all, it's no holiday for me if it's a helliday for my animal companions. Don't you agree?
Written by Karin Bennett
Remember, the Fourth of July comes only once a year, but you can make your own fireworks every day with veggie Viagra! Enjoy your holiday!
While hope and optimism have struck a chord with humans for the New Year, it couldn't have started off worse for Amazon parrots. The extremely rare Brazilian species is part of a recovery project at a wildlife conservation center in Florida which is attempting to help save the species and reintroduce the birds back into their natural habitat. However, what the conservation center employees saw on New Year's Day was a big step back.
Spooked by New Year's Eve fireworks, one of the male parrots thrashed himself to death. When the catastrophe was discovered, the parrot had severe head and face injuries from which he ultimately died. The director of the conservation center said, "We're doing everything we can to save these species and the lack of enforcement on fireworks regulations is basically undoing our best efforts."
Unfortunately, this reaction to fireworks is not uncommon by any means. Animals' hearing is much more sensitive than ours, and they often panic at the confusing and frightening experience. Many holidays end in tragedy for dogs, cats, birds, and other animals as they attempt to flee and end up hurting themselves.
The conservation center director said, "This guy could have lived to be 50 or 60 years old and could have produced a generation of wildlife. The tragedy is that this animal's life is sacrificed for absolutely no reason."
And right he is. The holidays don't have to end in disasters like this one. There are many alternatives to fireworks, such as laser and light shows, which are affordable and much safer while still providing the grand experience for humans. We are sending a letter to the mayor of this Florida city asking for stricter fireworks enforcement and a letter to the conservancy about how to keep their animals safer during these situations.
To find out more and to learn ways to comfort your animal companion if he or she panics during fireworks, click here.
Written by Christine Doré
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.