PETA Blasts Warning: Fireworks Can Scare Animals to Death in California

For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Pasadena, Calif.

As the Fourth of July approaches and revelers plan to watch fireworks light up the sky, PETA is asking everyone to ditch the noisy pyrotechnics—which cause many dogs and cats to flee in panic—and follow its tips to keep animals safe.

Every Independence Day (and any time fireworks go off), animal shelters see a spike in lost animals who have fled the noise, and some are run over or killed in other ways. Last Fourth of July, dozens of frightened dogs in Los Angeles fled after hearing fireworks explosions. In October, a dog who was attempting to escape fireworks during the celebration of a Lakers win got stuck under a house for two days, and just this past March, two horses were trapped by flaming debris after a cache of fireworks exploded in an Ontario house.

People can help protect animals by taking the following precautions:

  • 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 keep them calm.
  • 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 designed music from iCalmPet and giving them a natural supplement called melatonin, which is available at your local health-food store. (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.
  • If it’s cool enough outside, take dogs for a long walk or a romp in the dog park before fireworks start to help tire them out.
  • If you witness someone setting off illegal fireworks, call the authorities right away.

“To animals, fireworks really do sound like ‘bombs bursting in air,’” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages everyone to dance, cheer, and celebrate however they see fit—so long as the festivities leave animals in peace.”

Animals aren’t the only ones affected, either: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can be deeply disturbed by fireworks. By sharing PETA’s tips, you can help make this a safer holiday for everyone. PETA’s helpful yard signs—available here—also highlight just how much fireworks can startle companion animals! For more information, please visit

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