Police investigate report of fireworks shot into dog enclosures at New London animal shelter
New London — Animal control officers who arrived at the animal shelter in Bates Woods Park on Tuesday morning said they made an alarming discovery.
East Lyme and Waterford Animal Control Officer Bob Yuchniuk said it was clear that fireworks had been set off in the park near the animal shelter and debris from fireworks was found inside the kennels where 12 dogs are being housed.
Since the roof would have blocked the fenced-in areas from falling debris, Yuchniuk said the evidence points to someone firing fireworks through the mesh fence at the dogs.
Yuchniuk described the scene in the park as a “war zone.”
“It was ridiculous the amount of exploded stuff in the parking lot and near the building. Honestly, I thought someone ran over a bunch of cardboard with a lawnmower,” he said.
He took to Facebook on Tuesday to air his disappointment and call on the public for help in outing the culprits.
“I can only imagine how frightened the 12 dogs in the kennel last night were. This is a miserable place for the animals on the best days, last night must have been unbearable,” Yuchniuk said in his Facebook post.
None of the dogs appeared to be injured. Yuchniuk said the dogs in the kennel come from a variety of places in New London, Waterford and East Lyme. Some of them are being held for people in the hospital. Some are there because they were abandoned and never claimed by owners, he said.
New London police Capt. Matthew Galante said police were called to the park at 11:30 p.m. on Monday for reports of illegal fireworks. Officers arrived to find not only evidence of fireworks being set off near the animal shelter but also a small grass fire. The fire department was called in to extinguish the fire. Galante said no one was at the scene when police arrived. Officers also fielded complaints of fireworks in the area of Michael and Anthony roads, which are in the vicinity of Bates Woods Park.
Galante said anyone with information about the incident should contact police at (860) 447-5269, Ext. 0 or the anonymous tip line by texting NLPD Tip plus the information to “Tip411.”