By Jamie Leary

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)– Pet owners are struggling with the dramatic increase in illegal firework use but one Thornton woman says it’s so bad, her dog is literally shaking off the pounds.

“She gets so nervous and she shakes so hard that she’s losing weight. She’s probably lost 5 pounds in the last month,” said Jan Woll.

(credit: CBS)

Woll recently took video of her dog Zeva, a 6-year-old greyhound, cowering in the bathtub following a typical night of fireworks.

Zeva is one of 3 greyhounds. While Woll says they all have problems with the noise, Zeva is inconsolable.

“She’ll jump in the bathtub and she’ll just shake and it sounds like she’s tearing the walls down. She’ll do that for hours,” said Woll.

The difference in noise this year is noticeable and Woll has resorted to anti-anxiety medication for Zeva.

“We’ve done Prozac, we’ve done CBD, we’ve done Xanax, we’ve done… I don’t know, everything I can think of.”

(credit: CBS)

Woll settled on an anti-anxiety medication called, Sileo, an FDA-approved orally administered gel. It’s had the best results of everything she’s tried, but it’s expensive and with how constant the noise has been? It doesn’t always help.

“Every instance makes it worse. There was one night that it was 3 o’clock in the morning before it quit and I was afraid I was going to have to take her to the vet and have her knocked out,” she said.

While smaller firecrackers, like fountains and sparklers are permitted, in Colorado, any type of firework that leaves the ground is illegal. Similar to the ones being shot off near Woll’s home.

“And that’s the ridiculous part of this whole thing is Colorado allows things to be sold in the state that are illegal to use in this state,” she said.

RELATED: July 4th In Colorado: Where To Watch Fireworks

Thornton police say they’ve had enough, too. From the period of time between June 15 and July 1, police received 500 calls related to fireworks complaints and issued 40 summons. A 75% increase from the same period last year, a result of the pandemic: people have been cooped up for too long.

(credit: CBS)

“I wish they would care. I wish they would look at the animals that they’re hurting and understand the hurt that they’re causing and I’m not sure that they do,” said Woll.

Woll says it’s about more than just her dogs. It’s about being a good neighbor and since people continue to ignore the law, she says she thinks something needs to change.

“And I don’t know if that’s changing how the statue is written or if it’s going for a noise violation instead of a fireworks violation, but there has to be something that can happen because there are too many people that are just going crazy about this, this year.”

The City of Thornton put together a virtual celebration hoping to encourage people to celebrate safely.

City of Thornton has created a best of fireworks show from displays in the past that you can watch on your own or stream Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight… not quite the same but one of many ways people are trying to safely celebrate this year.

You can stream it now or you can also tune into Xfinity Channel 8 (HD on Channel 881) or visit to watch the fireworks from 7 p.m. to midnight on July 4.

Jamie Leary


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