Who shot illegal fireworks at dogs in an animal shelter? That’s what New London Police would like to know.
“It breaks my heart that this happened,” said Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control Officer Robert Yuchniuk.
Inside New London Animal Control, and right where Yuchniuk said fireworks hit on July 4, a dog stays back, afraid to peer out too far.
Yuchniuk said all the animals are physically fine, but fireworks going off right next to them must have been terrifying.
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“It bothered me a lot. These dogs have a tough time,” Yuchniuk said.
Yuchniuk said when he arrived at the facility on the morning of July 5, he found illegal fireworks debris littering the area around the New London Animal Control facility inside Bates Woods Park, that’s shared with Waterford and East Lyme.
He said some of the debris was inside the kennels where dogs were. Yuchniuk said in order for that to happen, people had to intentionally aim for the fencing where those dogs are. He said a dozen dogs were at the facility at the time.
A dark patch on the grass nearby is where Yuchniuk said the fireworks caused a blaze that first responders put out. But it’s the belief that the dogs were intentionally targeted that upsets him the most.
“In my 12 years doing animal control, I’ve never seen anything like this. The callousness and cruelty to light off fireworks right here, and especially when they started hitting that building. Maybe the first one was a mistake, but every one they fired after that, they knew what was going on,” Yuchniuk said.
Yuchniuk said some of the debris landed on the roof, and he’s thankful that the building didn’t catch fire. He’s now hoping they can get security cameras.
After he posted about what happened to the Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control Facebook page, people commented and offered to donate. They also offered to sit outside the animal control facility to keep watch the next 4th of July.
“Maybe we can get the ball rolling and do some fundraising and maybe get some cameras down here to prevent stuff like this in the future,” Yuchniuk said.
Yuchniuk said if there is an effort to raise money for cameras, he’ll post it on the Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control Facebook page.
He said police came by the facility on July 4 for reports of illegal fireworks, but that they weren’t able to locate anyone responsible.
If you have any information, you’re asked to give New London Police a call.