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