Athens Offered $5,000 to Use Spectacular Silent Fireworks This Year

City's Budget Concerns Prompt PETA Proposal: Use Quiet Fireworks, Which Offer a Stress-Free Show for Wildlife, Prevent Dogs and Cats From Becoming Lost, and More

For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2017

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Athens, Ga. – As the Athens-Clarke County government struggles to come up with money for this year’s Independence Day fireworks show, it’s getting an offer of help from an unexpected source: PETA. The animal rights group is offering to contribute $5,000—if the city switches to silent fireworks, which create a stunning show without the war-like explosions that scare off nesting birds, cause dogs and cats to run for their lives, and upset humans, including the elderly and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who are sensitive to loud noises.

Silent fireworks rely on rich color effects and visual choreography and offer a stress-free celebration for everyone. Animal shelters nationwide report an increase in the number of lost dogs and cats following traditional fireworks displays. Often, dogs go missing because they panic and jump over fences or even jump through glass windows to escape the terrifying sounds. Loud fireworks displays also alter animals’ breeding behavior and send wildlife racing onto roads, where they may be injured or killed.

“By using sensational but silent fireworks, Athens can prevent dogs, cats, wildlife, and humans suffering from PTSD from being frightened and potentially harmed as a result of loud noises,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA stands ready to help the city put on the first major U.S. Fourth of July display that delivers all the flash without the frightening noise.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages families to protect their companion animals during fireworks displays by keeping them indoors (and, if possible, staying with them), never leaving them tethered outside, and turning on the TV or the radio to help drown out the sound of the fireworks.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind