Fireworks affecting veterans, service dogs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fireworks affecting veterans, service dogs

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Legalized fireworks have been going off for weeks, and in one city, the non-stop blasts have been deeply affecting a local veteran and his service dog. 

Veteran Joe Nolte is all for celebrating the fourth, but what he's asking is simple: just following the rules. 

Nolte said his service dog Daisy was so scared,  she didn't want to come outside. 

"She's paranoid...she's never like this," said Nolte. "She literally sits there and just drools out her mouth and panting and panting and panting...she wouldn't even come outside today, that's how bad it is."

Nolte and Daisy have been together for 10 years, after he returned from Iraq.

"I was in the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit, combat engineer in the Marine Corps," said Nolte. "Fireworks trigger a chain of thoughts that go on and on."

Lately, they've both been struggling because of fireworks that go off all day and night. 

"We are having a hell of a time," said Nolte. "We were both a mess last night, sitting there until 3:00 a.m. I only got about 2 hours of sleep last night, I don't think she (Daisy) got any." 

Since becoming legal in the state of Iowa, many people have been taking advantage of fireworks but not everyone is following the rules of ending by 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. in Waterloo.

According to Waterloo Police logs, they received more than 50 fireworks complaints in the last two days.

Nolte is asking people to give the ones who fought for our country a second thought, before celebrating our freedom all night long.

He said he had a sign in his front yard that said, 'please don't light fireworks off on this property.' He says he not only found bottle rockets on his lawn today, but someone also stole the sign. 

The City of Waterloo's ordinance says people must stop fireworks by 10:00 p.m. tonight. 

Waterloo police say they have been ticketing people for not listening to the ordinance. 

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