For Immediate Release:
June 29, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Des Moines, Iowa – After a number of terrified animals were harmed and many were even killed as a result of last year’s Fourth of July fireworks displays, PETA is sending out a plea from Scandal star Bellamy Young: Ditch the noisy, animal-endangering pyrotechnics.
Last Independence Day in Iowa, an elderly dog named Ethyl got spooked by fireworks and ran away from her home. She was found a week later—limping and covered with ticks—15 miles away on the banks of the Chariton River, where she was rescued by a group of kayakers. Many other animal companions who flee in fear never make it back home.
“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.
Companion animals and wildlife 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 on FOX 17’s 9 p.m. news throughout the week. It’s also running in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Boston; Los Angeles; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina—and PETA’s TV spot featuring Battlestar Galactica actor Edward James Olmos is running in Houston; Long Island, New York; and Hampton and Warminster, Ontario.
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.