NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – The Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control facility said it was bombarded with fireworks on the Fourth of July, and now organization officials are seeking to press charges on whoever is responsible.
According to officials at the New London shelter, on July 5, employees had arrived at work to discover firework debris scattered around the outside of the building. These fireworks had been set off the night before, on July 4.
Bits of shredded cardboard was all over the driveway, showing how many illegal, exploding fireworks were set off. There had also been a small fire overnight, which started when a firework hit a patch of dry grass.
“I saw a whole bunch of fireworks inside the fenced-in area, and some exploded pieces actually inside the kennel section where we keep the dogs,” Waterford-East Lyme animal control officer Robert Yuchnuik explained.
Upon further inspection, Ychnuik said he discovered debris inside the dogs’ kennels. From this, he concluded that someone had been intentionally aiming the fireworks at the dogs. There were 12 in the shelter when the incident occurred.
“This is a miserable place for the animals on the best days, last night must have been unbearable,” said one organization official.
“Fireworks are very scary to dogs,” Yuchniuk explained. “Loud noises, explosions, flashes of light.”
The New London animal shelter is located in the middle of Bates Woods Park, which is a very large area. There are ball fields, a playground, acres of woods, and a picnic area.
So, whoever did this chose to set the fireworks off right next to the animals. Now, Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control said it is seeking to press animal cruelty charges on those responsible for the fireworks.
The organization stated that while New London police responded to the area several times on the night of July 4, they did not find the culprits who shot the fireworks.
Officers who responded to the incident said that late that night, they had found firework debris around the area of the shelter. Additionally, they said they had seen the small area of grass that had caught fire.
Police called firefighters who were able to extinguish the flames. However, officers said they do not have any suspects regarding who set off the fireworks that night.
Yuchnuik’s Facebook post about the fireworks has already received hundreds of shares and comments, and many people are offering to donate money for a surveillance system. After all, the only witnesses to the crime so far are the dogs in the kennel.
“Maybe we can have a conversation with the municipal governments about putting some cameras down here and, hopefully, get the word out,” said Yuchnuik. “Somebody knows something and will come forward, and we can get to the bottom of what actually happened here.”
Anyone with information regarding who is responsible for this incident is asked to contact the New London Police Department at 860-447-5269 ext. 0, or anonymous information may be submitted through the New London Tips 411 system by texting NLPDTip plus the information to Tip411 (847411).