For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Huntington Beach, Calif. – After a number of terrified animals were harmed and some were even killed as a result of last year’s Fourth of July fireworks displays, PETA is bombarding television and radio airwaves with pleas from Blade Runner 2049 actor Edward James Olmos and Scandal star Bellamy Young urging everyone to ditch noisy, animal-endangering pyrotechnics.
Last July in Huntington Beach, a fox was frightened into traffic and hit by a car, fracturing bones in two of her legs. She died a few days later during surgery at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, which also spent the holiday weekend treating a peregrine falcon who had become so disoriented that he flew into a window, a black-crowned night heron chick who had been frightened from his nest, and a mallard duckling who had been separated from his family—all because of the noise of fireworks. And last March in Ontario, firefighters rescued two horses who had become trapped in smoldering rubble after fireworks exploded inside a house, killing at least two people.
“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.”
PETA urges animal guardians to take the following precautions to protect their dogs and cats whenever fireworks go off:
- 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 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.
- If it’s cool enough outside, take dogs for a long walk or a romp in the dog park before fireworks start in order to help tire them out.
- If you witness someone setting off illegal fireworks, call the authorities right away.
Wildlife and companion animals aren’t the only ones affected: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can be deeply disturbed by fireworks, too. PETA’s tips (and helpful yard signs, available here) can help make this a safer holiday for everyone.
The group’s TV spots are running locally this week during CBS2’s news at 11 p.m. and FOX 11’s news special at 7 p.m. as well as on TV stations in Boston; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Des Moines, Iowa; Houston; Long Island, New York; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Hampton and Warminster, Ontario. PETA’s radio spot starring Olmos is running on 103.9 Recuerdo (Univision Radio).
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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.