Record Number of Fireworks Complaints Prompts PETA Proposal

South Sioux City Could Swap Upsetting Ear-Splitting Fireworks for Dazzling Noiseless Displays

For Immediate Release:
July 20, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Sioux City, Iowa – After learning that South Sioux City tracked an increase in complaints about loud fireworks this Fourth of July—and that Mayor Rod Koch has no plans to address them by banning or restricting fireworks—PETA wrote to the mayor today with a proposal: Allow only silent fireworks displays, which would create a stress-free environment for animals and residents without compromising celebrations.

In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that animal shelters see a spike in the number of lost dogs following loud fireworks displays, and the noise can also scare wildlife onto roads, where they’re likely to be injured or killed by vehicles. And the stress isn’t limited to animals: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can find the noise of the explosives disturbing.

“Rich in color and choreography, silent fireworks deliver all the flash without the fright,” says PETA Vice President Tracy Reiman. “To protect the more vulnerable among us, PETA is urging South Sioux City either to ban fireworks altogether or to make a bang by offering stunning silent displays.”

For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to South Sioux City Mayor Rod Koch follows.

July 20, 2017

Rod Koch


South Sioux City, Nebraska

Dear Mr. Koch,

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many across Nebraska, in response to your statement that despite a large increase in complaints from South Sioux City residents about fireworks, there will be no fireworks restrictions anytime soon. I have a proposal that I hope will “spark” (sorry) your interest: Allow only silent fireworks in order to create a stress-free environment for South Sioux City’s humans and animals.

Richer in color effects and visual choreography than conventional fireworks, silent fireworks offer a stress-free celebration for noise-sensitive animals, children, veterans, and elderly people. Animal shelters see a large increase in the number of lost dogs following traditional fireworks displays. Often, dogs go missing because they panic and jump over fences or break free from chains. Some even jump through glass windows in order to get away from the terrifying sounds. Many animals arrive at shelters with bloody paws and broken bones. Some are never reunited with their families, and others are doomed to an even worse fate. This panic is also felt by wildlife, such as deer and coyotes, who flee onto roads, where they may be killed and endanger drivers. The loud blasts cause birds to fly into chimneys and houses—and even to abandon their nests and young.

The stress caused by these displays is not limited to animals: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives.

By allowing only silent fireworks, you’ll not only address the concerns of constituents but also deliver all the traditional July Fourth flash without the frightening noise, while improving the quality of life for all living beings around South Sioux City. Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind