Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media File Photo

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for animal shelters trying to reunite missing pets with their owners. Animal advocates say it is fireworks that are causing dogs and cats to run away.   

Dee Schaefer, a humane educator with the Central New York SPCA, said phones were blowing up at the shelter Thursday morning with about 30 calls regarding missing or stray animals. They have already taken in at least five dogs this week, and she said intakes in shelters across the nation are 80 percent higher immediately following the Fourth of July.

Derek Key / Flickr

Oneida County residents will not be able to purchase fireworks for the July Fourth holiday this year. The county executive, Anthony Picente, has vetoed a bill from the Oneida County Board of Legislators that would have allowed the sale of sparklers and small, fountain-style fireworks. He cited safety concerns.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York state legislature passed a law that lets each county determine if they're going to allow sparklers leading up to the Fourth of July weekend. More than 30 counties in New York legalized sparklers including Jefferson, Madison and Cortland counties. The ban on sparklers is still in effect for Onondaga, Oneida, Tompkins and Oswego counties.


Joan Dolinak, a burn surgeon at Upstate University Hospital, said most sparkler injuries happen to children five-years-old and younger.


Derek Key / Flickr

Fireworks are a staple of Fourth of July celebrations. But one statewide organization is worried about sparks that will start flying in backyard pyrotechnics displays this weekend.

More fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year, according to the Fireman’s Association of New York State. And 60 percent of all fireworks injuries happen in the weeks immediately before and after the holiday.  

Pretty much everything lights up on the 4th of July

Jul 4, 2013
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Communities across central and northern New York this week are playing with glow sticks, grilling hot dogs and looking up at the night sky to watch a fireworks display.

Here's a postcard from Wednesday evening's Independence Day festivities at Emerson Park in Auburn, N.Y.