For Immediate Release:
June 29, 2023
Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382
San Jose, Calif. – It’s time to rethink fireworks, including those set off for the Fourth of July, as they’re causing a crisis for animals and their guardians. Last year alone, the city of San Jose’s Animal Care Center joined shelters across the country in reporting an uptick in lost dogs, who had panicked from the blasts and become separated from their families; a horse in Illinois died from injuries after being spooked by fireworks; and a wildlife facility in Florida reported that a rabbit had died following fireworks and many birds had abandoned their nests. To help prevent more injuries and deaths and animals from fleeing their homes—some never to be found again—PETA is sharing tips and urging everyone to protect their animal companions during fireworks displays, asking people not to set off fireworks, and blasting out TV spots across the country starring Latin Grammy winner Carla Morrison, Battlestar Galactica actor Edward James Olmos, and Scandal star Bellamy Young.
- Keep cats and dogs indoors. Never leave animals tethered or chained outside—they can hang themselves if they leap over a fence while trying to run from the noise. Animals can also injure themselves while trying to climb out of pens.
- Never take animals with you to watch fireworks displays! If you know in advance that there will be fireworks in your area, stay home with your animals and try to help them feel safe.
- Close your windows and curtains. To help drown out the sounds, turn on fans and air-conditioning units as well as the TV or a radio that’s tuned to a classical music station.
- Purchase a ThunderShirt, which can help your dog or cat cope with the stress of the fireworks. Other ways to keep animals calm include playing specially composed music from iCalmPet and giving them a natural supplement called melatonin, which is widely available at low cost. (Consult your veterinarian first.)
- Make sure that your animal companion is microchipped and wearing a collar or a harness with an up-to-date identification tag, just in case they become separated from you.
- If the weather permits, take dogs for a long walk or a romp in the dog park before the fireworks start in order to help tire them out.
- If you witness someone setting off fireworks illegally, call the authorities right away.
“To animals, fireworks really do sound like ‘bombs bursting in air,’” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “This Fourth of July, PETA is encouraging patriots to ditch the pyrotechnics in favor of festivities that leave animals in peace.”
More details about the harm caused by fireworks are available here.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.