PETA pushes for silent fireworks - WNEM TV 5

PETA pushes for silent fireworks

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A billboard is sparking controversy over fireworks and the effect they have on our four-legged friends.

The billboard on I-75 at the Reese/Caro exit calls on pet owners to watch out for their furry buddies during loud fireworks.

This comes as animal rights group PETA pushes for the use of so-called silent fireworks. It is an expensive trend sweeping Europe.

Freda Wilson said this time of year is rough on her dog Bentley, who gets scared hearing the loud boom of fireworks.

"He likes to go under the bed and he like moves all over the place. He's unsettled when the fireworks are going off," Wilson said.

Dogs don't know they are afraid of fireworks until a day like the Fourth of July comes along. That's why PETA is trying to get that changed.

"PETA is constantly looking for cities that are using traditional fireworks and looking to educate cities around the country about the option of silent fireworks that are less terrifying to pets, veterans and wildlife," said Kathy Tuggle, with PETA.

Tuggle said the organization is offering thousands of dollars to cities across the country in an attempt to persuade them to switch to silent fireworks.

Some people said the noise is part of the tradition of the Fourth of July.

"The boom is like the perfect part. The grand finale, all of that. It's good. I mean if they want to take it away, it is what it is I guess," said Fred Jackson, Saginaw resident.

Luckily for Jackson, PETA was unsuccessful in bringing silent fireworks to Saginaw. Instead, they opted for the educational billboard.

The president of the Saginaw fireworks said it's business as usual this year and they are still collecting donations. However, safety is first and foremost.

"Well the thing about our fireworks is they're always on July 4 and they're always around 10:30 p.m. So if you do have a dog or child that's afraid, we ask you to sort of prepare them and just let them know what's happening," said Tom Roy, president of the Saginaw Area Fireworks.

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