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Susan Williamson – Celebrating the Fourth

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Susan Williamson

Last night we watched the fireworks over Colonial Williamsburg, a special time and place commemorating our country’s birth. We enjoyed the display, but we realize the danger that fireworks pose to pets and livestock. These fireworks were set off at a specific time, by people who knew what they were doing. As far as I know, the Colonial Williamsburg livestock was confined to barns or moved away from the area during the display.

I sympathize with all of those who have horses or other livestock in pastures and are concerned for their safety. On our first Fourth of July in Winston-Salem, we had a yearling filly boarding in the pasture beside of our house. Someone nearby set off fireworks and we could hear the frantic neighing and running of the filly. Fortunately, she trusted my husband and ran to him. He was able to get her safely to the barn and into a stall.

The Fourth has ended but, please, please think of neighbors’ pets and livestock before shooting fireworks, loud guns or other noisemakers for any occasion. I have had a riding student hit the ground when a horse spooked during a morning firecracker, been hit in the nose by a rearing horse reacting to a gunshot, and had the gallop of a lifetime when the retired racehorse I was riding heard a car backfire. None of these events had dire consequences, but they easily could have resulted in serious injury.

Public fireworks displays are often free and visible for miles. Enjoy , stay safe and think of your four footed friends.

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