ANew Providence family is heartbroken after their beloved dog Cricket became startled by a nearby fireworks display the weekend before Thanksgiving, escaped from their home and was found dead a few days later on Route 222.Carey Kalupson, his wife Kara, and their two children, Jimmy and Kate, were at a Penn State football game on Saturday, Nov. 22 and didn't get back to their home on East Pennsy Road until late that night.
Jimmy, a 2008 Solanco High School graduate, is a freshman at Penn State University. He was on his way home with his family for the Thanksgiving holiday and "dying to see his dogs," said his father.
When the family wasn't greeted by Cricket, their tan and white colored Jack Russell and fox terrier mix, they got worried. The next day they went door-to-door on Main Street asking neighbors if they had seen her and posted signs with her photograph in local stores. They learned that there was a "gigantic" fireworks display at 32 Pennsy Road, about 500 yards from their house, the night before.
Carey Kalupson said he is confident that the noise from the fireworks explosions rattled the windows in his house, scaring the dog, which ran out the doggie door installed in the back door of his home and jumped the fence that surrounds the property.
"Everyone I talked to that had dogs said their dogs were going crazy from the noise," he said.
Kalupson said he found out from talking to neighbors that the flyers were distributed, announcing the display, but he didn't receive one.
He said he talked to residents of Cinder Road who could hear the fireworks, as well as some who heard it on Winter Hill Road.
The Kalupsons called veteranians in Chester and Lancaster counties and the Lancaster County Humane League to find out if anyone brought a dog in with Cricket's description. They even called the state police and Quarryville Borough Police Department but had no luck.
After finding out the location of the fireworks display, Kalupson went to speak to Paul Hipple, who hosted the display, about his missing dog on Sunday.
Kalupson said he thinks Cricket didn't stray far from the area because one of his neighbor's who has family members who live on Winter Hill Road said they saw a dog sitting on a porch that he thought could have been her. Cricket had an identifying chip in her so if she was found and taken to a vet, the Kalupsons could be notified.
On Monday, Nov. 24, the Kalupson's son Jimmy went driving around to look for Cricket and found her lying by the side of the road on Route 222 where the wooden fence is on the outskirts of New Providence. She was dead.
"Judging by her injuries, I am sure she died instantly," said Kalupson, who thinks she was hit by a vehicle.
"It doesn't soften the loss much. My family is so heartbroken right now. She was the sweetest little dog you could imagine. She slept in my bed with her head on my pillow most nights. All she wanted to do was be with us."
What makes matters worse is that Cricket was found dead on their daughter's 16th birthday.
"It breaks my heart. She was so close to home all that time," said Kalupson, who made a wooden box and buried her the following Friday.
The Kalupsons, who call themselves "dog people" said they consider dogs part of the family. They have another dog, Minnie, who is 6 years old and loved to play with Cricket.
About a week later, the Kalup-sons got another dog, also a Jack Russell, fox terrier mix they named Skippy but they know he will never replace Cricket.
Kalupson said Hipple offered to purchase a dog for them, but they had already bought Skippy from an Amish farm. They are allowing him to purchase a mark-erfor Cricket's grave.
Kalupson questioned the legality of the fireworks display and said the issue is about "responsibility and consideration towards one's neighbors."
"Not everyone enjoys louds fireworks and they should not be subjected to them against their will and without any warning whatsoever," he said.
Kalupson addressed the issue at the Providence Township supervisors meeting Monday night.
Providence Township does not have an ordinance pertaining to fireworks and according to the township's attorney Mel Newcomer, they would not issue a permit if someone wanted to host a fireworks display.
C. William Shaffer, chairman of the supervisors, said he would have liability concerns about a fireworks display if the township were approached about someone wanting to set them off and there should be valid advertisements when it was going to happen. He said a number of criteria would have to be established before that could happen.
Supervisor Wayne Herr said he knew that this wasn't the first time that Hipple has hosted a fireworks display but it's the first time there's ever been an issue with it.
Hipple did not return calls for comment.
Tracey Nettke, who lives on Main Street, said she enjoys the fireworks but does have two dogs that are afraid of them.
According to Nettke, the fireworks were advertised through a flyer to be scheduled at an earlier date but was postponed.
"There was no warning it was happening a second time," she said.
Nettke said the fireworks "sounded like canons going off" and her dogs hid behind a chair the rest of the night.
Shaffer said he heard them as well and believes "it was not Mr. Hipple's intention to cause harm."
According to the state fireworks law, anyone who wants to host a fireworks display must apply in writing, at least 15 days in advance.
Other municipalities have laws regarding fireworks.
Manor Township prohibits public fireworks without obtaining a permit from the township and mandates that the displays be performed by a responsible operator. Those displaying the fireworks must also must carry a $1 million bond.
In East Lampeter Township, anyone performing a fireworks display must have a permit.