Don’t Let Halloween Decor Hurt Animals: PETA Shares Tips

For Immediate Release:
October 1, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Every Halloween, PETA hears about decorations that got surprisingly scary for animals—for example, many people have no idea that acrylic spider webs can trap birds, squirrels, and chipmunks! So to help keep the holiday from turning into a real-life horror movie, PETA is sharing tips for animal-friendly Halloween décor.

  • Skip the fake spider webs. Not only can small animals become trapped in them, cats can also find them enticing—and if the material is ingested, it can cause vomiting and intestinal blockages.
  • Keep it natural. Pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, hay, and leaves are animal-safe and eco-friendly—but say no to corncobs, which can cause intestinal blockages if dogs eat them.
  • A leftover jack-o-lantern can be a treat! After lighting up Halloween (with beeswax-free or LED candles and one of PETA’s pro-animal stencils, perhaps?), a carved pumpkin can be enjoyed by squirrels, with a few caveats:
  • Use only unbleached pumpkins, as bleached ones can make animals sick.
  • Be sure to remove any wax remnants first.
  • The second they start to grow mold—which can be toxic—throw them out.
  • Keep pumpkins away from dogs, as large chunks or rinds can become lodged in their intestinal tracts.
  • DIY candleholders. Painting glass jars or cutting holes into metal cans turns recyclables into luminous decorations—but after the holiday, be sure to make them safe for inquisitive animals, who could get their heads or paws trapped inside, by putting the lids back on or crushing the cans before placing them in the recycling bin.

“The decorations that make October 31 fun for humans can be downright deadly for dogs, cats, and wildlife,” says PETA Senior Director of Cruelty Casework Stephanie Bell. “PETA’s tips can help everyone, including vulnerable animals, have a very happy Halloween.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter,  Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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