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Loud backyard fireworks: Patriotic fun or terror for dogs and babies? Readers debate

Powerful home fireworks are setting off an explosive debate.It’s been legal for two years to buy aerial fireworks such as bottle rockets and Roman candles in Pennsylvania. Lots of people are taking advantage and enjoying this patriotic new freedom.But others are ready to explode about fireworks sometimes going off after midnight, and other detonations waking babies and terrifying sensitive dogs. One reader even said farmers can get hurt if cows and other livestock get spooked.Here are some of the best reader comments, from letters and Facebook posts:Fireworks cause some dogs to panic and try to run away. ( ‘noise-phobic dog’ suffersCathy Rosenthal’s article (The Morning Call, June 22) regarding fireworks and the negative impact on pets and people struck a personal note because I own a noise-phobic dog. I expect that Cathy’s suggestions concerning anxiety medication and the Thundershirt help some pets. In my dog’s case, both were ineffective.I am on a fireworks call list, which informs me when a resident has acquired a permit. However, I hear fireworks on other days. Consequently, I am on the alert since my dog has a flight response.I understand the right to have fireworks. But then again, why should area residents be subjected to 30 or more minutes of constant noise? I should not have to take my dog on an evening road trip for 30 minutes, while a resident has a fireworks display that ends with a sonic boom. …— Karen Russell, Upper Saucon TownshipBackyard fireworks are legal in Pennsylvania, if people follow rules. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune/)‘Let me celebrate my country’s independence’I safely set off fireworks on the 4th at 9 p.m. Sedate your pets (I hear CBD oil is great) and let me celebrate my country’s independence. My fireworks stop by 10:30 at latest. …I hate that a few give us responsible folk a bad name. I have my hose at the ready at all times. I spray down site afterwards. Some of us know and respect the power of pyrotechnics and respect neighbors. I will be notifying my new neighbors in coming days of my customs. Half the old neighborhood comes with chairs in my yard to watch. They love they don’t need to drive anywhere and fight for parking. — Charlene RieggerTwo Herens cows (Valentin Flauraud/)Farmers have been trampled by panicked livestockIt’s called “herd mentality” and it’s dangerous.Personal ignition of fireworks will be heard this week. They cannot be set off within 150 feet of an “occupied dwelling.” But if the blaster lives in that dwelling, anything legally available for purchase in the state can be exploded on that site.I inquired about what restrictions may be in place regarding the use of loud explosive fireworks in rural areas that would affect livestock and farm animals. Is the 150 feet restriction related to a barn or animal enclosures? …Cows and farm animals do not react as a single animal. One that panics then controls the entire herd mentality. And more than one farm owner trying to control that panic has been trampled. …— Joe O’Connor, Richland Township‘I’m calling the police the next time we have a thunderstorm’I’m so tired of thunderstorms. The thunder scares my pets, and what if the lightning strikes my house and starts it on fire. I can’t stand spring and summer. I’m calling the police the next time we have a thunderstorm.— Richard R. Romig Jr.It’s only one nightThis has been happening for the past 200+years. If you’re inconvenienced one night a year because people want to celebrate the nation’s birthday, oh well move.— Brian Banach‘I wish it was only one night!’I wish it was one night only! They shoot them off several weeks before and after.Anyone who has pets or knows someone with PTSD, this is not fun for them, not to mention wildlife. Your night of fun is not fun for them.— Patricia Wright ‘Poor dogs!’I really don’t understand the thrill that people get lighting off these loud fireworks. Every 4th of July our dog would be so scared he’d run away.They should be banned for the sake of the animals, and also for the poor little kids who end up blowing off their hands. Sadly now it has stretched to practically the whole summer! Poor dogs!— Mary C. SmitreskiNot OK at 1 a.m. on a weeknightI get it, it’s summer, people like fireworks, whatever floats your boat. But when I’m awakened at 1 a.m. on a weeknight, that’s when I have a problem. And it’s been happening far too often.— Keri Duda ‘Fireworks in Macungie are out of control’The fireworks in Macungie are out of control. Between hearing them from Dorney Park, Macungie Park and in the neighborhoods, it’s torture now almost every night for the pets, wildlife and all of us who get sick of it.It’s like people were sheltered too long in their lives and feel some need to now use them in ridiculous amounts.— Julie Howard Berger
Source: Morningcall

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