We have owned an 11.5 acre horse stable on the top of Hollywood Hill for the last 20 years. We have three horses of our own that were born and raised here along with 37 clients who have show horses that are boarded here. This is our business, our livelihood and passion. Unfortunately the Fourth of July holiday is not filled with celebration and barbecues for us. Instead it is filled with worry, dread and intensive care trying to protect our animals and property from injury and damage.
We have worked with our neighbors over the years trying to talk to them ahead of time and explain our concerns over fireworks in our area. Many of them are respectful and refrain but many others don’t care and break the laws knowing there will be no recourse from law enforcement in our city.
In preparation, all of our animals are locked up in their stalls. We put ear plugs in to dull the noise and give them sedatives to help calm them. At 9 p.m. one of our neighbors across the street (in Woodinville City limits) started blowing off fireworks in the middle of our very busy street (N.E. 175th St.) which is less than 50 feet from our horses barn. Then three houses west of them (also in Woodinville City Limits), the neighbors started blowing off a series of reservation fireworks that were landing on our property. This went on for hours. When we asked and pleaded with them to stop they just laughed and basically said tough s__t!
This isn’t a game for us. We have had horses die from breaking a leg running circle in their stall trying to get away. Others internalize the stress and colic resulting in the vet putting them down. We are stuck bearing the heartache and cost of the damages. We have had our pastures catch on fire from the fireworks and put them out with our own hoses to keep it from spreading. Then we have the clean up of all the debris that has flown onto the property.
This year the City of Bellevue increased their fine for illegally blowing off fireworks in their city limit to $1000 and strictly enforced it. It is time the City of Woodinville stepped up to take action to protect all of its law abiding citizens as well.
Owner, Five C Farms
Owner, Five C Farms