FIREWORKS: Remember to protect pets

It’s not even dark, and people are illegally setting off fireworks, scaring those you can’t calm with an explanation – particularly pets. The Seattle Animal Shelter‘s advice for helping your pets this time of year (published last year, but unfortunately perennially relevant) is here, with advice such as “Leave pets at home and inside,” “Create a home sanctuary,” and “Identification is essential.” No matter what you do, your pet might still bolt if s/he gets the chance; if you lose or find a pet, remember that we have had a Lost/Found Pets page on WSB for 12 years – send us info ( or text 206-293-6302) and a photo, if available. But no matter how much care you take with pets, there are still animals affected because their “home sanctuaries” are those same outdoor spaces where people are setting off explosives – our beautiful birds, for example. Thanks in advance for your consideration. (WSB shop cat Miles, 20 and declining, thanks you too.)

39 Replies to "FIREWORKS: Remember to protect pets"

  • Graciano July 3, 2020 (9:04 pm)

    Keep your pets in the house, Close your windows, turn on some music….

  • DM July 3, 2020 (9:45 pm)

    Thank you wsb for the way you stated that…I wish there were more people in our neighborhoods that gave a sh-t…I dread the explosive destructive chaos that may happen tomorrow night on the Riverview playfields. So many clueless entitled people  blowing stuff off…Jerks

  • Chuck July 3, 2020 (9:54 pm)

    I really wish there was something we could do to get the hand full of offenders a nice fat fine. My block is a war zone right now and a friendly conversation didn’t put an end to the commercial mortar shells. 

    • M July 4, 2020 (10:26 pm)

      File a class action lawsuit against the city of Seattle, city council, the Mayor, SPD for failing to protect the mental health, safety, and we’ll being of its residents

  • Concerned Citizen July 3, 2020 (10:01 pm)

    Stay safe you woofs & meows. & everyone watch out for the old black cat scamper when you’re on the roads!

  • WS resident July 3, 2020 (11:05 pm)

    I saw a guy who set off a huge fireworks at the parking lot where Meaples is located…my boys got scared by the huge sound. 

    • Carole July 4, 2020 (1:04 pm)

      There was a string of them from the Meeples lot, followed by one particularly loud doozy that shook the windows of nearby buildings. It literally sounded like a bomb had gone off, accompanied by a blinding flash of light.  I’d been trying to ignore them, but that one literally made me jump.

  • Plf July 3, 2020 (11:24 pm)

    What part of fireworks being illegal do folks not getdo we start pick and choosing what laws we respect and if it feels good for me I just choose to break the lawthere is a reason we don’t allow fireworks but until you or someone is negatively impacted some folks just choose to break the lawbet these same folks don’t wear masks 

  • WTF July 3, 2020 (11:29 pm)

    How about not being an AH?!

  • Chris July 3, 2020 (11:36 pm)

    Several are setting off fireworks in North Admiral.   Two dogs here are beside themselves.   Some sound like M80s.   It is going to be a loooong weekend with little sleep.   11:30 pm right now on 3rd and lots of noise.

    • Kathy July 4, 2020 (10:46 pm)

      Yes. Hamilton View is quite the hit spot. Till 2am last night. Tonight? Who knows. Two dogs here are shaking like crazy. 

  • Pets and Vets July 3, 2020 (11:40 pm)

    Truly blows my mind that SPD wouldn’t just put a couple squad cars at the most obvious spot where people launch illegal fireworks. And then don’t respond when multiple people call it in. What exactly do they get paid to do?

    • Anne July 4, 2020 (8:12 am)

      In reality-this is a  “feel good” law that is not easy to enforce. Sure SPD could put a squad car someplace -but folks would no doubt just go elsewhere. In order to issue a ticket-they have to actually see someone with the fireworks in their hand – not just standing around. If that does happen it’s a misdemeanor-no  one is going to jail -a ticket is issued. Police move on & guess what -the person probably continues lighting fireworks. Seattle does actually have a shortage of Police  Officers -in  the time before now-hiring more was an issue Mayor Durkan promised  to correct- you can bet that plan is no longer  in the works.  So there are not & never will be enough  Police to effectively deal with  the fireworks issue.  It’s just a fact-law abiding folks -won’t buy & set them off-the others -the “this doesn’t apply to me/I don’t care”folks will. I feel bad for our Veterans, for pets, too. But until folks can no longer buy fireworks -anywhere-they will be part of July 4th. 

  • ItsOKAY July 4, 2020 (1:05 am)

    Im pretty shocked by how upset this has gotten a few commenters. Pick your battles! This is surely not the first 4th you have made it through. Let’s not blame police for ignoring petty things that happen on THE SAME DAY  every year. Love thy neighbor is not conditional. I’m no fan of loud fireworks, but sheesh, do I wish repercussions on the few that let go and light off some fun on….. The 4th of JULY!!!?????  NO! I keep watch to make sure nothing on my block accidentally catches fire! Stop whining and go make sure your yard is free of flammables for when the big booms start later. 

    • AHneighbor July 4, 2020 (6:31 am)

      I think it would be easier to stomach if it was actually one day, but it’s not. It starts about a week early and sometimes even lingers for a few days afterward. By the time we actually get to the 4th, I’m so sick of the noise and the disrespect that I don’t even want to celebrate the holiday. 

    • oakley34 July 4, 2020 (7:13 am)

      It’s not one day…it’s been three nights straight with at least one to come.  Anyway thanks for posting this WSB.  You won’t change the minds of the self absorbed, but you might educate more open minded folks with that simple post.  By the way my dog trembled and panted for nearly four straight hours last night. Thanks @#&*%ers!

    • Joan July 4, 2020 (8:00 am)

      This is not “fun” for the rest of us, and I bet for every one commenter here there are a hundred more who do not comment, who feel the same way. Please respect the health and sanity of our community. These firecrackers have gone too far. They should be banned nationally. They serve no purpose. We can celebrate in more sane ways that do not destroy people’s and pets’ nerves, plus the garbage left behind by the AHs who do this. Again, it’s all about $$. I’m sure the firecracker lobby is vey strong in this country.

    • Kim July 4, 2020 (8:30 am)

      Who the hell are you to say it’s okay? Today’s the 4th. We’ve been putting up with these “celebrants” for days! It’s illegal. It’s harmful for people, pets, wildlife, the environment. And you’re playing big cop  here, condoning it, telling everyone to accept it. What friggin hubris.

      • Alki July 4, 2020 (10:55 pm)

        There are a lot of illegal things this city allows. Just add this to the list.

    • Plf July 4, 2020 (8:35 am)

      It’s not winning but I would argue very insensitive for you not to realize there are vets that this day sets off ptsd interesting choice of words to big your battles when battles have created this in si many I would argue it is selfish self centered to engage in a behavior that is illegal that there is hard evidence that impacts a sector of our neighbors For so many It’s all about me myself and I 

    • Kris July 4, 2020 (8:41 am)

       Such ‘petty’ things took the life of a man and his pet last year- bombs being ignited in dense urban areas is unquestionably dangerous. Why,  on any day of the year, should any resident have to make sure nothing on their block catches fire?

    • flimflam July 4, 2020 (8:43 am)

      “love thy neighbor” followed up closely by “stop whining”….pick a lane there buddy.

    • nonni July 4, 2020 (9:23 am)

      Guessing your dog has never taken a crap on your pillow on the fabulous fourth ( or 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th…) of July?

    • flimflam July 4, 2020 (7:59 pm)

      so, should the apartment dwellers that had their building catch fire “stop whining” or is ok if they whine a bit?

    • M July 4, 2020 (10:40 pm)

      So, you are saying that it is okay for someone, or some people to repeatedly cause severe emotional distress to children, pets, and adults because they want to have some fun? Have you ever lived outside of this sad, self-absorbed provincial dump? I have lived on the EaSt Coast and have been many wonderful 4th of July celebrations around the country and loved the day until I moved to this dump. Use your phones, record people around you do it, file complaints. More than that though, go after the city and the politicians whom you pay to protect you. 

  • anonyme July 4, 2020 (6:43 am)

    ITSOKAY – it’s NOT okay that a few get to ruin the holiday for the many.  If anyone is “whining” it’s those same, selfish few who think that the world revolves around them and their lawless, destructive behavior and that anyone who disagrees is just a big meanie.  Grow up.

  • Allison July 4, 2020 (7:18 am)

    Write to King County council to ban sale of fireworks county-wide. At least people would have to work harder (and go further) to purchase them. 

    • KM July 4, 2020 (10:44 am)

      Great idea. Absolutely disappointed that the county hasn’t done this already, time to put pressure on them.

  • Poorsleep July 4, 2020 (7:55 am)

    Someone was shooting off fireworks in the street directly across from our house until 3am. I wouldn’t really care as much if it was earlier in the evening, but I would prefer not to get 4 hours of sleep every night this weekend. 

  • Nukegrrrl July 4, 2020 (8:27 am)

    I’m a person who has always lived in areas where fireworks or firecrackers are banned but people do them anyways and over the years it’s caused me/my family:2 roof fires,1 cat that bolted out a door and died when something went off,Countless exploded mailboxes and shattered windows.It’s not just the noise or “people having fun” that upsets people. It’s that all of those horrible things I listed can and do happen to helpless people and pets who make a point to live or stay in places where fireworks and firecrackers are banned but they happen anyways. Enforcement of fireworks seems lax in all neighborhoods and decades I’ve lived in Seattle but last night I noticed that every time an m80 or ordinance exploded, multiple SPD cars were on the search, driving around really slow with their windows rolled down so they could hear where they were coming from. So I think maybe that’s what SPD has been doing the past few nights – seeking out the really dangerous stuff w/o us even noticing.I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th. 

  • John July 4, 2020 (8:39 am)

    Pick your battles, indeed. -This is a simple one to win. +It will save lives, eyes, and fingers.  It will eliminate  people losing their homes with all of their possessions (fire-works burning down homes).  It will lessen the trauma of those with PTSD from arms and explosives.  It will eliminate  infants and young kids being awakened and terrorized by violent explosions.  I will eliminate pet owners’ vet visits for drugs to knock their pets out, isolation rooms and driving out into the country for distance from fireworks.= The individual’s 4th of July fireworks celebrations of the past are an anachronism.   We can all be just as patriotic enjoying only permitted professional displays (post summer of COVID19).  It won’t be as ‘fun & dangerous’ as my youthful experiences, but far more safe, sane and humane.- For those with an absolute desire, please fulfill your intentions by visiting one of the  designated Tribal fireworks locations, where last week Seattle Times reports one fellow had his  three middle fingers blown off by a ‘short fuse.’  The self inflicted victim announced his intentions to ‘enjoy’ reservation fireworks again next year.  To that, I say – “‘Hang Loose’ my brother!”

    • ArborHeightRes July 4, 2020 (1:16 pm)

      Thank you so much, John, for your thoughtful post and clear delineation of the degree of harm done to pets, other animals, war veterans, as well as the property damage/personal injury, etc.  I do want to add that the illegal use of fireworks here in West Seattle is, in my experience, not just a one-day nightmare that could be tolerated, say, for a short time. I am in Arbor Heights and the sometimes percussive fireworks (not sparklers, mind you) go on for days and nights prior to — and well after — the 4th of July. 

  • Anne July 4, 2020 (10:41 am)

    A KC Council  member already  has a proposal either in the works-or ready to be voted on – but won’t be in effect until 2021.

    • WSB July 4, 2020 (11:23 am)

      Actually unless the Legislature passes a bill that stalled last time around, it can’t go into effect any sooner than 2022 – even if it’s passed soon – because state law mandates a waiting period..

  • ArborHeightsRes July 4, 2020 (1:11 pm)

    Governments other than Seattle seem to be taking the use of illegal fireworks more seriously and have an easier way to report, track, and respond to these issues. If the City of Seattle made these web applications available, the police could see patterns and figure out where to deploy resources to “hot spots”  or areas with the most frequent or serious complaints. See these examples, and this is not an exhaustive list: Los Angeles, CA: Jose, CA: of Albuquerque, NM : County, NV:

  • anonyme July 4, 2020 (3:41 pm)

    It’s a great idea except for one thing.  The Seattle way would be to spend a lot of money on creating the database and doing dog & pony shows on the data, but it would end exactly where we are now – with no enforcement.  But at least it would be a way to get reports on record.  SPD very conveniently makes it impossible to call in fireworks violations, as citizens are warned not to call 911 and the non-emergency number is non-operational on the 4th.  These are no longer traditional fireworks, they now consist mostly of bombs.  This is the first time I’ve noticed that a lot of dogs start barking like crazy when one goes off, even at a distance.  The crows have disappeared, so hopefully they’re smart enough to have headed for the rookery early.  I really wish I had somewhere to fly away to.

    • ArborHeightsRes July 4, 2020 (8:11 pm)

      Dear Anoyme — You raise a very good point about the lack of enforcement and the very cumbersome manner in which you currently have to report fireworks violations (calling the non-emergency line and being placed on hold for lengthy periods of time, with no assurance anything will be done). You noted, though, having a database will be an important record that we could all see, either through some kind of online dashboard, or, if required, through public records requests. I am going to write the  City Council and cc the Fire and Police departments and ask them to take this on — an online reporting system as a way to ensure we have better enforcement or a means to hold the city accountable when we do not. 

  • anonyme July 5, 2020 (8:55 am)

    ArborHeightsRes, I would be willing to work with you on this and perhaps organize a larger effort.  Not sure how to do that safely right now, but it’s a thought.  Lisa Herbold tried to get data from the city in regard to how many fines are actually issued for fireworks violations, but I don’t think she ever received an answer.  That’s been the Durkan way: ignore anything you don’t want to deal with.  It’s time this admin had a kick in the pants.  Maybe a citizen’s group with Lisa involved?  Here is a link to the WSB story from last year:

  • Ellen Carleton July 5, 2020 (6:12 pm)

    One of my neighbors was using m-80s. I did call the cops twice and after that they were quieter, but on the day itself other people on the street on the other side of me were shooting them off also. People went crazy over here and they don’t care if it’s illegal or not. They’re already starting up again. I also wish that if they had to be visited by the cops then they should have their fireworks taken away from them. The cops do their best but there are a limited amount of them and with a huge radius of people putting off fireworks you’re never going to catch everybody. I don’t mind regular fireworks, but the m-80s make me jump, keep the cat under the bed for a couple of days, aren’t good for the twin one year old girls next door, and I really feel for veterans with PTSD.  I make a bet that these people weren’t wearing masks, and that they may be totally ignorant of the history of the 4th of July. Anyway oh, I hope that next year there won’t be Covid and I can just go someplace in the country where this idiocy doesn’t keep people awake all night. It’s never been so bad in my neighborhood. I think it has something to do with everyone staying at home. or maybe they lack the courage to go out and do it at a park. You can’t fix egocentrism.

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