SACRAMENTO ( – As the Fourth of July approaches, you might see more abandoned tennis balls lying on the ground. If you do, it might be best to leave them alone.

Near the fourth, people are reportedly using tennis balls as big, illegal firecrackers. Abandoned tennis ball bombs have reportedly been found in both neighborhoods and in remote areas.

Along with posing a danger to humans, they also pose a huge threat to dogs, who are used to playing fetch with the balls.

In February, a Washington man found a ball while walking in the backcountry.

In 2000, a Portland man was reportedly walking his dog when he stumbled onto an explosive ball. Not suspecting anything was up, he tossed the ball to his dog who bit the ball, causing it to blow up in the dog’s mouth. The dog then had to be put down.

If you spot an abandoned ball, check it first to make sure it’s safe. Look for things like a wick, incisions, or a small hole where a wick might have been.


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