Many holiday events that will end with a bang—fireworks, that is—may be entertaining for people, but they are not nearly as much fun for animal companions or wildlife.
Animals' hearing is far more sensitive than ours, and unpredictable and deafening blasts from fireworks can cause them immense pain and fear and even damage their hearing.
Dogs, cats, birds, and other animals often become frightened and confused by the noise, causing them to panic and attempt to flee—frequently with devastating results. Many holidays end in tragedy when alarmed animals break out of screen doors and fenced yards and become lost or are hit by cars.
Fireworks are just as disastrous to wildlife. Since pyrotechnic displays produce high-particulate emission-laden plumes, birds, who have sensitive respiratory systems, often choke when caught in or near pyrotechnic blasts.
Such horrifying stories are not restricted to nonhuman animals. Every year, bystanders and professional fireworks operators are injured and killed in fireworks-related incidents.
Some displays have even ignited fires that have damaged property and habitat.
Holiday stories involving lighting displays don't need to end in horror. This is because there are safer, affordable alternatives to fireworks that are just as magnificent and festive.
Laser and light shows can give families, including their animal companions, real cause to celebrate.
Do you have a story about how fireworks ruined your holiday celebration? Or any ideas for how cities can light the sky with less bang and more cheer? Please enlighten us by leaving a comment ...
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