Do people set off firecrackers in your neighborhood? Do you think of them as harmless fun? One dog owner in Illinois will never look at firecrackers the same after his dog picked one up.
On Tuesday, 7 July 2015, Nicholas Garcia allegedly was lighting fireworks with an unidentified friend in an alley at 10:30 a.m. in the Joliet, Illinois neighborhood (200 block of East Jackson). The 24-year-old man allegedly noticed the dog and threw several lit quarter-sticks toward the dog. The dog picked one up and the firecracker exploded, taking off parts of the lower and upper jaw of the dog, according to a report in This Times Weekly. The owner witnessed the incident and called the police. The two men fled. The dog was euthanized.
Garcia surrendered to the police Friday. He has been charged with property damage. The Will County State’s Attorney has yet to decide of animal cruelty charges can be filed.
Laws governing firecrackers vary from city to city in the Greater Los Angeles area. In my neighborhood, someone begins setting off firecrackers in June. When we first moved to this neighborhood, firecrackers were set off just a few houses down in the street. Last year, a neighbors three dogs panicked over the excessive noise and got loose. Despite flyers posted all over the neighborhood, those dogs were never found. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, more pets are lost over the Independence Day weekend than any other time of year.
This year, during Independence Day weekend, we found debris from firecrackers in our backyard. During this drought, with neighbors letting their lawns go brown and the backwash behind some houses has weeds that are a dry golden brown, we worried about fire. Last year, 300 fires were caused by fireworks according to the Glendale News Press.
What can you do? Call your local police when you first begin hearing firecrackers in your area, even if you can’t identify the exact area or house. If you can’t get through submit a tip online. Our area uses TipSubmit.com.
Check with your local police department to get the correct non-emergency phone number and online reporting links. Without an exact address, police may patrol your area listening for fireworks which will reduce the overall number of explosions.
People do get injured such as cornerback C.J. Wilson who lost two fingers on his right hand. One teen was recently sentenced to jail after a popper he threw into an apartment last year caused a fire and resulted in the death of his friend’s sister. Some die such as the former Disney World actor.
Firecrackers can kill and one killed a dog in Joliet, Illinois this year. There’s an online petition asking that Will County State Attorney James Glasgow file animal cruelty charges against Garcia because his act was more than just property damage.