Urgent Tips: Keep Cats and Dogs Safe During Fireworks Displays

For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

With the Fourth of July and its loud fireworks displays almost here, PETA is offering these brief but potentially lifesaving tips—not just on July 4 but also on each day leading up to the holiday, when individuals often set off their own fireworks.

Fireworks are meant to represent “bombs bursting in air”—and to dogs and cats, that’s exactly what they sound like. When animals hear the cracks and booms in the sky, many of them panic and jump over fences, break chains, or even break through glass windows in an effort to escape the terrifying sounds. Many animals who run in fear are never found: After fireworks displays, animal shelters nationwide report an increase in the number of lost animals, some of whom have bloody paws from running, torn skin from breaking through wooden fences, or other serious injuries. Some animals are hit by cars or killed in other ways as they attempt to escape.

PETA encourages people to take the following precautions to ensure the comfort and safety of their animal companions during fireworks displays:

  • Keep cats and dogs indoors, and if possible, stay with them.
  • Leave your animals at home during the celebrations—never take them with you to watch fireworks displays!
  • Never leave animals tethered or chained outside—they can hang themselves if they leap over a fence while trying to run from the noise.
  • Close your windows and curtains. To help drown out the sound of the fireworks, turn on fans and air-conditioning units as well as the TV or a radio that’s tuned to a classical-music station.
  • Consider purchasing a Thundershirt to help your dog or cat cope with the stress of the fireworks. Other ways to keep animals calm include playing specially formulated CDs from Through a Dog’s Ear and giving them a natural supplement called melatonin, which is available at your local health-food store (but 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.

Please also see Los Angeles Galaxy star Robbie RogersPETA video, in which he urges families to keep dogs and cats safe during fireworks.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 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