HONOLULU (KHON2) — The holidays came and went but residents and their pets continue struggling with loud booms from illegal fireworks.
Kahaluu resident Alice Taum said she is concerned about her two pet dogs. She said the fireworks are loud sounding like bombs, and they have been persistent since November.
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Taum said, “I think it’s been the worst ever. And we’ve been here for 10 years in this house.”
Taum said her seven-year-old Labrador mix named Raven has runaway twice due to the violent sound of fireworks.
Taum said, “Ran up probably a mile and a half and not just on our main road, but sort of weaved his way up to a family, which he then did again this year, Dec. 18.”
The Hawaiian Humane Society Community Relations Director Daniel Roselle said they saw an influx of stray pets soon after the New Year celebrations.
Roselle said, “We did see an uptick so between Dec. 31 of last year and the second of this year, we saw about 21.7 % increase in stray animals being brought into us. That was 56 pets.”
It was not just lost pets, the Straub Burn Center Director Dr. Robert Schulz said injuries related to illegal fireworks are becoming more critical year after year.
“Not uncommon to see bad facial injuries, loss of one eye loss of a part of the face,” Dr. Schulz said. “And so these injuries nowadays are a great deal more than we saw possibly a decade ago because of the nature of the aerials and the power that they have.”
Meanwhile, the Honolulu Police Commission Chair Shannon Alivado questioned HPD’s Acting Deputy Chief of Police Ryan Nishibun about the officer’s response to calls regarding illegal fireworks during a Jan. 12 commission meeting.
Alivado said, “Just wondering what the department may be doing to enforce some of the post-new year fireworks? Because they continue in various neighborhoods around the island, I don’t think one stands out from the other.”
“We’ll send officers out we also have plain clothes units that are out patrolling also so that they can try to catch them that way,” Nishibun responded. “We’ll send over officers to go investigate.”
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The acting deputy chief said calls related to illegal fireworks should still go to 9-1-1.