For Immediate Release:
June 17, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Santa Monica, Calif. – Following complaints that The Beach Club in Santa Monica plans to set off fireworks on July 2 despite the city’s fireworks ban and without alerting the public in advance—raising the risk that unsuspecting animal guardians and vulnerable humans could be caught off guard by the explosions—PETA sent a letter to the club’s manager this morning urging her to halt the show immediately or opt for a far quieter laser-light or drone show instead.
Fireworks—which are distressing to animals, children, veterans, the elderly, and other noise-sensitive individuals—are illegal in Santa Monica, but the club has skirted the ban by obtaining a permit in Los Angeles County, where its parking lot is. Last year, a Santa Monica fireworks display contributed to the death of a local dog named Darwin, who got spooked by the fireworks while on a walk, pulled her leash out of her guardian’s hand, and ran onto the Pacific Coast Highway, where she was hit by a car.
“The booms and blasts of fireworks can drive terrified dogs away from their guardians, scare wildlife out of their nests, spew toxic particles, and cast veterans’ minds back to the worst days of war,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on The Beach Club to be a good neighbor and replace the pyrotechnics with a show everyone can enjoy.”
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.
PETA’s letter to The Beach Club follows.
June 17, 2022
The Beach Club
Dear Ms. Yu:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.S.—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including tens of thousands in your area, and PETA U.S. is the largest animal rights organization in the world—in response to complaints we’ve received about the Independence Day fireworks display at The Beach Club. We strongly urge you to abstain from launching any fireworks displays in order to allow noise-sensitive animals, children, veterans, and elderly people in your community to experience a quieter, cleaner, and less stressful Independence Day. May I explain?
Fireworks are bombs bursting in air to dogs, who frantically try to escape the chaos by climbing, breaking, or digging their way out of wherever they are—resulting in increased intakes at animal shelters, maxing out their capacity and further straining community resources. Those who arrive at animal shelters often have bloody paws or broken bones, and many are never reunited with their families. Others are doomed to a worse fate—hit by cars or strangled when their collars become caught on fences that they tried to clamber over. In a recent instance in Santa Monica, a dog named Darwin got spooked by fireworks while on a walk—terrified by the explosions, she ran away from her guardian, leading to a hit-and-run accident, after which she unfortunately died. In light of the ban on fireworks in your city, residents may not be aware of and prepared for your display, so we urge you to prioritize the health and safety of all members of your community by canceling any potential fireworks shows.
As you may know, loud fireworks displays cause a great deal of stress, anxiety, and fear in wildlife. Birds startled by fireworks have abandoned their nests and crashed into homes, windows, and each other. In one instance, more than 5,000 dead or dying red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky during a fireworks display in Beebe, Arkansas. Fireworks also produce smoke and dust laden with toxic particles that are harmful to the respiratory systems of humans and other animals.
For the sake of wildlife, companion animals, guests, and residents of Santa Monica, we hope you’ll abstain from presenting additional fireworks shows and consider instead substituting drone or laser shows, which are safer, produce virtually no air pollution, and are growing in popularity. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
cc: Lera Van Straatum, Assistant General Manager, The Beach Club