Firework safety for you, and your pet

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“Barks and Sparks” is part five of a summer safety series

By Sandy Rigas

            Recent sightings of the Town of Wellsville Dog Control officer driving around village neighborhoods looking for reported loose dogs prompted this reporter to have a conversation with Wellsville Village Chief of Police Tim O’Grady for a review of local dog ordinances.

 If you have recently acquired a puppy or new dog, or are new to the village, you might not be familiar with local policies. You could be under the impression that dogs running or ambling about the village by themselves is acceptable. It isn’t.

There is a leash law in the village. “Local Law 95-1 states that it is unlawful to knowingly permit or intentionally allow a dog to run at large. Dogs should be on a leash no longer than 8 feet in length.”

With warmer weather, many dogs in the village are tethered in back yards.

The local law states that “it is unlawful to have a dog outside habitually barking, howling or crying that disturbs neighbors.” The SPCA cautions canine caretakers to be sure that dogs chained or tethered outdoors have access to shade and fresh water as they, too, can become overheated and dehydrated.

With more people out and about in summer, Chief O’Grady notes that the local law also prohibits dogs going into restaurants, grocery, or commercial establishments that sell food, unless it is a Certified Service Dog.

And, with the warmer weather, more people are taking longer walks with their canine companions. “Dog owners are responsible for promptly removing all solid dog waste,” said Chief O’Grady, as stated in the local law.

Village and Town of Wellsville canine residents need to be licensed annually. For more information, visit the Town of Wellsville Dog Control link on the Town’s website, where you can download an application.

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It’s a holiday weekend and Monday is Independence Day. Folks will be gathering for picnics and parties, and many of them will last into the evening, with an outdoor fire. According to Chief O’Grady, “The Village does allow backyard fires, but the fire needs to be in an approved container and made of nonflammable material and includes:

  • An outdoor fireplace with a chimney (A ‘fire pit’ on the ground is NOT considered a fireplace) or
  • A metal or clay chiminea, or
  • A manufactured metal pit with a mesh cover
  • A fire pit no larger than three feet (3”) in diameter and three feet (3”) in height
  • No fire shall be kindled or maintained that creates or causes to be created noxious or offensive odor, or smoke so dense in volume as to be hazard producing.
  • No such contained fire shall be kindled or maintained between the hours of 12 a.m. (midnight) and 8 a.m.
  • Sparklers and ground fireworks (like fountains) are legal in New York State.
  • Firecrackers, bottle rockets, and other aerial fireworks are still prohibited.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend and Fourth of July!

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