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No fun, just fear | The Humane Society of the United States

While fear of loud noises such as thunder or fireworks can be mitigated from inside the home by creating a safe space or playing music to soften the sounds, animals who live outdoors have no escape—but that doesn’t stop them from trying. 

“I’ve seen my horses take off at a gallop around their field, watching them with my heart in my throat worried they would crash through a fence or trip and break a leg. It is horrifying every Fourth of July,” says Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, HSUS Maryland state director. 

Studies also show that fireworks can have a devastating impact on wildlife. They can disrupt migration patterns in some bird species, and individuals who survive mid-air collisions with the explosives have been found badly burned. Wildlife rehabilitators may also take in more orphaned wildlife, such as young birds and squirrels whose parents flee. Fireworks also pollute soil, water and air, and they can harm humans: Their components have caused cardiovascular and respiratory damage, even death.

Some states are pushing back. When Iowa legalized consumer-grade fireworks in 2017, Cedar Rapids residents saw an immediate uptick in disruptive backyard displays, says Moore, noting that they can be tough for veterans experiencing PTSD. That same year, public outcry from animal lovers led the city to decide fireworks wouldn’t be allowed within city limits.


Pennsylvania legalized consumer fireworks in 2017. Since then, fireworks have caused barn fires, vehicle collisions with spooked horses and a fireworks-related fire that killed a child in the summer of  2021.

Published: 2023-06-18 11:55:32


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