For Immediate Release:
June 29, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Bowling Green, Ky. – After an illegal fireworks display reportedly triggered a heart attack in a local resident’s dog last Fourth of July, almost killing him, PETA is plastering the airwaves with a plea from Scandal star Bellamy Young: Ditch the noisy, animal-endangering pyrotechnics.
Every year, animal shelters around the country see an influx of lost animal companions who have fled during fireworks shows, many of whom show up with bloody paws and broken bones. Many never safely make it home or to a shelter.
“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 as 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 spot is running throughout the week during WBKO-TV’s 6 p.m. news. It’s also running in Boston; Des Moines, Iowa; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. PETA’s TV spot featuring Battlestar Galactica actor Edward James Olmos is running in Hampton and Warminster, Ontario; Long Island, New York; and Houston.
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.