Say NO to Fireworks - It's the Humane Thing to Do
An Animal Rights Article from

No fireworks
Say NO to Fireworks - it's the humane thing to do.

Read Fireworks Threaten Animals

Read poem "Fireworks Show"

What Animal protection organizations want you to know about fireworks:

American Humane Association
"We have often advocated against public firework displays in areas that are densely populated. In many cases, we have found that July 5th is one of the busiest days at an animal shelter. The lights, sound, and smell of fireworks can terrify even the calmest of companion animals. All too often, these panicked animals will take flight and become lost, injured, or even killed in their attempt to flee. Shelter professionals spend their days fielding calls from frantic pet owners whose animals have run away after being frightened by fireworks.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
“We know that fireworks have a very detrimental effect on all animals - whether they are human companion animals or wildlife. The animals are sensitive to the loud noises, the smell of the explosives, and even the effects the fireworks have on humans. This seems especially dangerous in a densely populated area.

Animal Place Sanctuary
“Loud noises such as those created by fireworks can cause sometimes extreme fear in non-human animals. Because of the intermittent nature of fireworks, the animals cannot learn that the noise is otherwise harmless. Because fireworks are likely to cause considerable problems, it is my professional opinion that their use should be banned in the vicinity of non-human animals. Fireworks are not necessary and people can be entertained in some other manner.”

The Association of Sanctuaries
"I am sure everyone who works with animals, whether wild, farm, captive, or companion, would say the same thing about fireworks and their effects on animals - they commonly respond with alarm, fear, physiologic stress reactions, and attempts to flee.

"Having once been executive director of an organization that ran a companion animal shelter I can testify that we always knew that the days after July 4 would be crowded with people searching for dogs who had escaped their yards in fear of fireworks exploding. Often, of course, the animals were never reunited with their people, having gotten lost, run over, or stolen.

In Defense of Animals (IDA)
"IDA can attest that the disruption caused by fireworks presents a very real and serious threat to both companion animals and wildlife. The loud and sharp explosions frighten many companion animals terribly, often causing them to flee and become lost or to suffer physical harm as a result of their terror. Local wildlife also suffers from acute stress reactions as well.

Last Chance for Animals (LCA)
“Our 50,000 supporters wholeheartedly oppose the use of fireworks. Fireworks are frightening and stressful for cats and dogs. Animal shelters report a rise in the number of lost pets following fireworks displays. For the sake of the animals in your community, please prohibit the use of fireworks.”

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA)
“With a constituency of approximately 40,000, we oppose the use of high-grade explosive fireworks in areas where animals may be affected. Explosive fireworks cause animals a high amount of fear and stress. Many animals become terrified by these noises and in an attempt to escape from them, jump fences and run onto busy streets and highways. We would be opposed to the use of such fireworks in regions that are densely populated by people and animals.”

National Cat Protection Association
“We always hear of the dangers to children from fireworks. But what we rarely hear about is the danger to companion animals. One of the scariest days of the year for our dogs and cats is the 4th of July. Their ears are more sensitive than ours are and they are terrified of the noise and often try to run away from it. They become disoriented and can easily get lost. This campaign to make the public aware of the dangers of fireworks is very important. We give it our full support.”

National Humane Education Society (NHES)
"Our founding principles all relate to making the world a kinder, safer place for animals. The use of fireworks not only adversely affects companion animals (cats and dogs), but also, wildlife is most certainly affected negatively. Many dogs and cats are known to become frantic during firework displays and some show true signs of stress. Wildlife is also stressed by the thundering noise of fireworks and they exhibit similar reactions to that of cats and dogs. Allow the pets and wildlife in your fine city a peaceful, fireworks-free existence."

New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)
"In these days of high technology, there is no need to use loud, percussive-type fireworks, especially not in a densely populated, residential neighborhood. Laser light shows offer brilliant but quiet displays - without the accompanying noise, air pollution, chemicals contaminate, and color bursts typical of fireworks. And, there are even visually magnificent pyrotechnics that can be done without the heart-stopping acoustical booms. Firework displays are plainly terrifying to many animals regardless of whether the animals affected are companions of humans or free-living fauna. Surely there are ample ways to celebrate without relying on outdated, polluting, frightening pyrotechnic displays!

New Hampshire Humane Society
"During fireworks presentation, many animals run away from their homes in search of a quiet spot to escape these frightening detonations as dogs can hear 10 times better than humans. Many of our stray animals are found by local police departments and brought to our organization immediately following any fireworks displays. The following morning the shelter is flooded with calls from pet owners wondering if we have their missing pet."

North Shore Animal League America
"The harm that is caused by fireworks displays to companion animals as well as indigenous wildlife in the area is indisputable throughout the humane community. Companion animals reactive to sound sensitivity will go into a blind panic in the vain attempt to escape the threatening sounds and are frequently killed in traffic or lost to heartbroken families forever. Local shelters that end up with the lucky ones that survive are faced with the task of trying to locate their owners. This very often fails depending on how far their flight has taken them. We are the largest rescue and adoption organization in the world with millions of supporters across the United States.

Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN)
"NARN is always concerned about the effects of fireworks on non-human animals. We have personally witnessed the terror of dogs and cats after a moderately loud fireworks event. We have seen these dogs and cats flee their homes and dart across highways, be injured and lost. We are in favor of banning fireworks."

Physicians Committee
“On behalf of our 5,000 physician and 100,000 layperson members, we support campaigns to protect animals from the stress and trauma of explosive fireworks. The noise of explosive fireworks can be extremely stressful for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, other companion animals and of course, terrifying for wildlife.”

Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
"Since 1967, we have long experienced the overwhelming number of stray and injured companion animals, and wildlife affected by fireworks. This is especially noticeable in the weeks surrounding the 4th of July weekend and at times of other celebrations. Our veterinarians have acknowledged that the ears of most animals are largely more sensitive than the human ear, with the fireworks affecting their acute sense of hearing as well as causing burns and eye damage. Dogs and cats commonly break through doors and windows, injuring themselves and becoming lost after running several miles. During the two-week period surrounding the 4th of July weekend in 1998, 50 dogs were received at our shelter. Normally 18 dogs would be rescued in a two-week period. In 2000, the increasing number of stray and injured dogs and cats was also evident during the 'fireworks' season. Our wildlife shelter is also affected by fireworks, especially experiencing an increase in orphaned birds, squirrels, raccoons and other small mammals."

United Poultry Concerns (UPC)
“Our companion animals and wildlife should never be subjected to preventable fear, pain, or injury. Clearly, the proximity of fireworks to these animals poses a significant risk to their well being. We fully support the campaign to prohibit fireworks. Let us choose entertainment that benefits not only ourselves, but also those who share our world. After all, it's their world too. Let us respect it.”

Utah Animal Rights Coalition
“We are opposed to the use of fireworks. Such displays cause undue stress on all the animals that live near the venues."

Wildlife Watch
“It is obvious to anyone who has ever been around animals that domestic and wild animals are frightened by the loud sounds and displays. Birds are directly at risk of being disoriented, injured, or even killed. We ask that you not subject animals to the stress and trauma caused by fireworks.”


Fireworks Show
By Jenny Moxham


In panic he leapt through
The window that night,
Half blinded with terror
And frantic with fright.

Paws bloodied and torn
Just one thought in his head,
To escape from the noise
That had filled him with dread.

The fire-filled sky
He could not comprehend,
And so wildly and blindly
He raced round the bend.

And then came the headlights;
A sickening thud,
And he lay on the road
In a pool of red blood.

There he died on the night
That the sky split asunder,
When the heavens exploded
In fire and thunder.

How could he imagine
How could a dog know,
That what scared him to death
Was a firework show.


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