Illegal fireworks cause problems for stable - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Illegal fireworks cause problems for stable

July 7, 2003

Lee County- This is how Jerry spends much of his day. And that's the way he likes it. But Jerry and the other horses here at Hunny Pot Stables weren't so happy Friday night when nearby neighbors set off fireworks that sounded like these.

"He was running up and down this paddock, he was bouncing into the fence, he was bouncing into the gate," said Grethen Gay, a volunteer at Hunny Pot.

During the 45 minutes of noise, a privately owned horse hurt his leg and today, is limping.

"Can you imagine the terror. They were terrified," Gay said.

Jerry ended up throwing a shoe that cost the stable 60 dollars to replace. That may not seem like a lot of money to most, but it is for the Southwest Georgia Therapeutic Riding Center. Most of the horses here are used for therapy for disabled children and adults. The group works on a tight budget. Jerry helps raise money for the center by pulling a carriage often used for weddings and parades.

 "Our horses are part of our equipment, so if our equipment is damaged then we can't operate our business," Gay said.

The Lee County Sheriff's Department did confiscate the nearby fireworks Friday night, but did not issue any citations. The problem, according to law enforcement, is that a law against fireworks is nearly impossible to enforce.

"I've talked to other sheriff's about this and they have the same problem," said Lee County Sheriff Harold Breeden.

In fact, the law doesn't even show up in The Law Enforcement Handbook, that most officers carry with them.

"If we make a case against fireworks, we'd have to make them against everyone in the county because everybody's got fireworks," he said.

The riding center hasn't decided if they want to press charges. "We don't want to make anybody angry," she said.

"Perhaps this person did not know that fireworks are illegal. We want public awareness that they are."

So next year, Jerry's peaceful munching goes undisturbed.

posted at 9:20 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com