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PETA offers Michigan city $5,000 to use silent fireworks

Nonprofit says traditional fireworks terrify animals

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The animal-rights group PETA wants to give a Michigan city $5,000 to switch its annual fireworks display to "silent fireworks." 

The organization sent a letter to the Saginaw Area Fireworks committee offering the donation to create a "stunning show without the war-like explosions that scare off nesting birds, cause dogs and cats to run for their lives, and upset humans, including the elderly and soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who are sensitive to loud noises." 

The so-called silent fireworks use color effects and visual choreography to entertain crowds without the stress that can come from explosions, according to PETA. They have been used around the world. (Here's a NY Times story on the trend.)

PETA reached out to Saginaw after hearing the fireworks committee was crowdfunding its annual display. 

"By offering sensational but silent fireworks, Saginaw can prevent dogs, cats, wildlife, and humans suffering from PTSD from being bombarded by loud noises," says 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."

PETA encourages families to protect their animal companions during fireworks displays by keeping them indoors (and, if possible, staying with them), never leaving them tethered outside, and turning on the TV or the radio to help drown out the sound of the fireworks.