Warning for DMV Residents: Fireworks Are Illegal—and Can Hurt Animals

PETA Alerts Locals to Ordinances That Prohibit Explosions That Frighten Animals, the Elderly, and Others

For Immediate Release:
June 11, 2018

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Washington – With the Fourth of July on its way, PETA is handing out leaflets to residents in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area urging them not to set off fireworks—most of which are illegal in the metropolitan area—and to keep their animal companions indoors during the holiday.

PETA’s leaflets note that fireworks can terrify animals: Dogs have jumped fences, broken chains, torn through screens, and even leaped through glass doors in panicked attempts to escape the blasts. Animal shelters become flooded with lost animals, some of whom never make it back to their guardians. Fireworks can also be deeply disturbing to the elderly and people living with post-traumatic stress disorder and can aggravate the symptoms of those suffering from respiratory problems.

“Fireworks sound exactly like ‘bombs bursting in air’ to animals who end up fleeing in terror—some never to be found again,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is urging everyone to protect animals and other vulnerable members of the community by never setting off fireworks, which can carry a penalty of fines or even jail time.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages families to protect their animal companions by keeping them indoors (and, if possible, staying with them), never leaving them tethered outside, closing the blinds, and turning on a loud fan or the television to help drown out the frightening noises. Guardians should also ensure that animal companions are wearing collars with current identification tags and that they’re microchipped.

Fireworks are illegal or severely restricted in Washington, D.C.; in Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; in the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park; and in Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties in Virginia.

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