Urgent From PETA: Nightly Fireworks Scaring Dogs and Cats to Death

For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

As the Fourth of July approaches—and because many cities are already experiencing amateur fireworks displays night after night, many louder than in past years—PETA shares these brief but potentially lifesaving tips. They are especially important as many shelters are operating at limited capacities because of the pandemic and cannot cope with an influx of lost animals.

Fireworks are meant to represent “bombs bursting in air”—and to dogs and cats, that’s exactly what they sound like. When animals hear those explosions, many of them panic and jump over fences, break chains, or even break through windows in an attempt to escape the terrifying noises. Every Independence Day, animal shelters see a spike in lost animals who have fled from fireworks, and some are run over or killed in other ways.

Fireworks also cause wildlife to flee onto roads and into buildings or abandon their nests—and because of the excessive fireworks this year, the fear isn’t limited to July 4.

People can help protect animals by taking the following precautions:

  • 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.
  • If you witness someone setting off illegal fireworks, call the authorities right away.
  • Never take animals with you to watch fireworks displays! If you know in advance that there will be fireworks in your area, try to stay home with your animals and calm them.
  • 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 formulated music from iCalm and giving them a natural supplement called melatonin, which is available at your local health-food store. (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.
  • Take dogs for a long walk or a run in the evening, before fireworks start, to help tire them out.

Please see actors Edward James Olmos‘ and Bellamy Young‘s PETA videos, in which they urge families to keep dogs and cats safe during fireworks.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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