PETA offers $5K to switch to silent fireworks - WNEM TV 5

PETA offers $5K to switch to silent fireworks

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An animal rights group is offering $5,000 if a Mid-Michigan city will switch to silent fireworks. 

The Saginaw Area Fireworks committee has turned to crowdfunding to raise money for its annual fireworks show. The fireworks committee will meet in the coming weeks to discuss PETA's offer to switch to silent fireworks, which PETA said will still create a stunning show without the war-like explosions that scare animals and upset veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The campaign has prompted PETA to send the committee's president a letter offering to contribute $5,000 to help. 

"By offering sensational but silent fireworks, Saginaw can prevent dogs, cats, wildlife, and humans suffering from PTSD from being bombarded by loud noises," said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. "PETA stands ready to help the city put on the first major U.S. Fourth of July display that delivers all the flash without the frightening noise." 

Animal shelters nationwide report an increase in the number of lost dogs and cats following fireworks displays. The loud noises can cause dogs to panic and jump fences or even jump through glass windows to escape the terrifying sounds. 

"It was the first time we've ever heard of silent fireworks, even if they do exist," said Thomas Roy, president of the Saginaw Area Fireworks.

He said the final decision rests with the donors who foot the six figure bill.

"They're the ones that pay the bills. They're the ones that get to say what kind of fireworks they have and if they want silent fireworks," Roy said.

Shawna Guiett, director of Amazing Grace Animal Rescue, said animals get so traumatized by the explosions they often run away from their homes in fear.

The silent ones still make a sound, but are more muted than traditional fireworks.

"I know that people enjoy the Fourth of July and they enjoy fireworks, but those of us that animal lovers do not," Guiett said.

She said animals are not alone. Some men and women who fought for their country suffer from PTSD and are also bothered by loud booming fireworks.

"They do talk about the noise factor and how it impacts them as well and it is very frightening," Guiett said.

Roy said the committee will discuss the offer at the group's next board meeting, but it will be a while before any changes could be made.

"We are in a three year contract with Wolverine Fireworks. So nothing until at least 2020 can happen about silent fireworks," he said.

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