For Immediate Release:
July 1, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – With the Fourth of July and its loud fireworks displays almost here, PETA is offering these potentially lifesaving tips—not just on July 4 but also on each day leading up to the holiday, when individuals often set off their own fireworks.
Fireworks are meant to represent “bombs bursting in air”—and to dogs and cats, that’s exactly what they sound like. When animals hear the cracks and booms in the sky, many of them panic and jump over fences, break chains, or even break through glass windows in an effort to escape the terrifying sounds. Many animals who run in fear are never found: After fireworks displays, animal shelters nationwide report an increase in the number of lost animals, some of whom have bloody paws from running, torn skin from breaking through wooden fences, or other serious injuries. Some animals are hit by cars or killed in other ways as they attempt to escape.
PETA encourages people to take the following precautions to ensure the comfort and safety of their animal companions during fireworks:
- Keep cats and dogs indoors during fireworks displays, and if possible, stay with them.
- Leave your animals at home during the celebrations—never take them with you to watch fireworks displays!
- Never leave animals tethered or chained outside—they can hang themselves if they leap over a fence while trying to run from the noise.
- Close your windows and curtains. To help drown out the sound of the fireworks, turn on fans and air-conditioning units, the TV, or a radio that’s tuned to a classical-music station.
- Consider purchasing a Thundershirt to help your dog or cat cope with the stress of the fireworks. Other ways to keep dogs and cats calm include specially formulated CDs from Through a Dog’s Ear and a natural supplement called melatonin that’s available at your local health-food store (but 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.
Los Angeles Galaxy star Robbie Rogers also urges families in this PETA video to keep dogs and cats safe during fireworks.