As you’re walking your dogs this time of year, be careful when picking up a stray tennis ball – it may be a new type of homemade explosive and could pose a serious risk to you or your dog if it’s played with.
Most commonly found around the 4th of July and New Year holidays, when fireworks and backyard pyrotechnics are most popular, some people are turning tennis balls into bombs and often leave them lying around for dogs and kids to find. Abandoned tennis ball firecrackers have been found both in wooded areas and in busy neighborhoods.
One dog has already lost his life to a game of fetch, unknowingly being played with one of the homemade bombs which have been found throughout the country.
A Portland man was walking his dog when he spotted a tennis ball on the ground. Thinking nothing of it, he threw the ball for a few rounds of fetch with his dog. After a couple of throws, the ball exploded in the dog’s mouth causing fatal injuries.
If you see any abandoned or stray tennis balls, be careful when picking them up or allowing your dog to play with them. Look for signs that the ball has been tampered with or cut open and check for fuses or holes where a fuse might have once been. If you find one of these homemade tennis ball bombs, contact local police immediately.
And as a general rule of thumb, always B.Y.O.B. (bring your own ball)!