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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: animals

Police log gems: Pullman police help baby bird

Pullman police responded to a call of a baby bird that had fallen out of the nest Tuesday at about 11:20 a.m. on the 2500 block of NW Short Drive.

Police responded and placed the bird back into the nest, according to police logs.

Crew paints yellow line over dead raccoon

This photo provided by Sean McAfee from Aug. 2 shows a dead raccoon that McAfee saw with the road dividing line painted over it before he stopped his motorcycle to take the picture on Franklin Rd. in Johnstown, Pa

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The “squirrelly” configuration of a western Pennsylvania road helped cause a state road crew to paint a double-yellow line over a dead raccoon.

Motorcyclist Sean McAfee snapped a photo of the mistake before it could be cleaned up and submitted it to the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown (http://bit.ly/MkHa1K).

He says he almost crashed, he was laughing so hard.

PennDOT spokesman John Ambrosini says paint crews usually have a foreman on the job who clears away any dead animals before the paint-spraying truck equipment passes by. This crew didn't have a foreman and the equipment was too big to turn around in traffic, remove the animal and repair the paint. He says the “the squirrelly geometry” of the narrow road didn't help.

But the crew did try to stop the paint gun.

Charges filed in Hillyard animal cruelty

A Spokane woman who had 50 dogs and cats packed into a squalid bungalow in Hillyard has been charged with animal cruelty.

Laneva Marsha Erskine, 57, faces nine misdemeanor charges stemming from a February raid at her home at 3622 E. Crown Ave. in which workers wore hazardous material suits and respirators to combat the heavy stench.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Feb. 8: Animals seized from squalid Hillyard home

Public’s help sought in cat cruelty probe

Spokane County animal protection offers are asking for the public's help as they investigate a horrendous case of animal cruelty.

A cat had to be euthanized on Monday after SCRAPS officers found it shot in the head in a dumpster at the Viewpoint Villa Apartments, 5911 E. Woodlawn Ave., in Spokane Valley.

A woman had reported a cat screaming from the dumpster, and the apartment manager found the bleeding, injured feline inside a garbage bag wrapped in a blanket.

The cat was taken to a veterinarian and euthanized. Investigators say the cat also sustained traumatic injuries to its body.

Anyone who may have seen or heard something is asked to call (509) 477-2532 immediately. Your name and contact information will remain confidential with SCRAPS.

Scarf-wearing pig pursued by Pa. police

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Motorists have reported a sharp-dressed pig running loose on a highway just outside of Pittsburgh. State troopers also spotted the animal but failed to catch it before it scurried off into the woods.

The pig is wearing a scarf. The sightings were reported between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Wednesday just west of the city on Interstate 376, known locally as the Parkway West.

State troopers from the nearby barracks in Findlay Township spotted the pig, but couldn't catch up to it.

Police say the pig appeared to be a baby and confirmed it was wearing a scarf. Police don't know why that is or who may own the animal.

Still, someone has created a Twitter account to chronicle the swine's “exploits.” It's at www.twitter.com/sharpdressedpig.

Man gets 6 months in horrific dog cruelty

A Post Falls man who beat his dog with a hammer as his neighbor watched in horror has been sentenced to six months in jail.

 Calvin Franklin Palmer, 53, who served 33 years in prison in Arizona for murder, apologized at his sentencing Friday and said the death of his Akita-pit bull even “traumatized him,” according to court records.

“I was the only one who treated her nicely,” Palmer said.

He told police he killed the dog after she attacked a cat and he feared she would attack him.

“I'm sorry that someone saw me do that,” he said in court Friday, according to a transcript. Palmer was booked into the Kootenai County Jail that day to begin his sentence.

Palmer's neighbors in the 300 block of North Columbia Street in Post Falls called police Dec. 10 and reported the horrific attack.

Tammi Nichols, 40, said her 18-year-old daughter, Carmen Murphy, told her she'd seen Palmer beating the dog with the hammer.

Nichols said she told Palmer “You just traumatized my child,” but Palmer “looked at her with a blank look on his face, then swung the hammer at the dog four more times, striking it in the head,” according to court documents.

Post Falls police arrived to find the dog dead in a trash can, badly beaten with its throat slit.

Palmer initially lied to police and said he didn't own a dog, according to court documents. When they asked him about dog food at the home, he said he fed it to his cats because he can't afford cat food.

Palmer has been out of prison for about three years after being convicted of robbery and murder in Arizona, according to court records. He works at the Sweetgrass Cafe in Worley, Idaho, according to testimony at his sentencing.

His public defender, Megan Marshall, called for him to serve no jail time for the animal cruelty conviction, saying he'll lose his trailer if he can't work. She said his murder conviction “is following him for the rest of his life,” according to court records.

Judge Penny Friedlander instead sentenced him to 180 days in jail but allowed for work release. Friedlander said it was “stunning to the court how anyone could do an act like that to an animal.”

Roving cows drink Mass. backyard brew

BOXFORD, Mass. (AP) — Police say a roving group of cows crashed a small gathering in a Massachusetts town and bullied the guests for their beer.

Boxford police Lt. James Riter says he was responding to a call for loose cows on Sunday and spotted them in a front yard.

Riter says the herd high-tailed it for the backyard and then he heard screaming. He says when he ran back there he saw the cows had chased off some young adults and were drinking their beers.

Riter says the cows had knocked the beer cans over on a table and were lapping up what spilled. He says they even started rooting around the recycled cans for some extra drops.

Riter says the cows' owner and some friends herded the cows back home.

Fiberglass cow statue stolen in CdA

Police in Coeur d'Alene are investigating the theft of a large fiberglass cow statue from outside an antique store.

Jeffrey Gagnon, who owns Paris Flea Market at 1815 N. 4th St., has a broken piece of the cow's tail that can be used to positively identify the statue, Officer Bruce Reed noted in his report.

Gagnon said the red and white statue, which was made in the 1940s, was secured with chains that were bolted to the ground but had been cut. The theft occurred between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, Gagnon told police.

Gagnon said the statue was worth about $2,300. He obtained it about two years ago and said it'd be easy for someone to carry it away because it only weights about 70 pounds.

Anyone with information on the theft should call the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.
  

Cat refuses to go for jog; man ticketed

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (AP) — Police in Lafayette, Colo., have ticketed a man who is accused of tying his cat to a rock after the feline refused to go jogging.

Sgt. Fred Palmer says 19-year-old Seth Franco brought his cat on a leash to the path around Waneka Lake Park on Wednesday, but the cat was unable to keep up.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, witnesses told police that Franco secured the cat's leash to a rock while he finished his run. A passer-by called police.

Franco was ticketed on suspicion of “domestic animal cruel treatment,” a municipal offense.

Palmer says an ordinance in the city, about 20 miles north of Denver, “prohibits that kind of tethering.”

The cat wasn't injured, so it was released to its owner.

Franco could not immediately be reached for comment.

Man accused of killing wife’s cat

A Spokane man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing his wife's cat.

Nicholas A. Romanelli, 28, was arraigned in Spokane County Superior Court on a charge of first-degree animal cruelty.

He's accused of smashing a cat against a wall repeatedly while drunk and angry he couldn't find the keys to his car to get more beer, according to court documents.

Police arrived at his home in the 4600 block of North Sullivan Road after his wife called 911. She awoke to the cat screeching loudly, she told police.

Romanelli is out of custody awaiting trial, which is scheduled for March 26. He has previous felony convictions for domestic violence tampering with a witness and harassment.

Flying squirrel invades New Jersey E.R.

RAHWAY, N.J. (AP) — Firefighters were needed stat after a flying squirrel went nuts in a New Jersey hospital's emergency room.

The squirrel kept launching itself from an 8-foot-high wall-mounted lamp into a glass wall after becoming trapped in a trauma room at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Rahway Tuesday night.

Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ted Padavano told The Star-Ledger of Newark (http://bit.ly/vxBiL0 ) it would climb up on a light and would jump off and glide.

A pair of firefighters threw a blanket over the squirrel and released it into a wooded area outside the hospital.

Padavano believes there may be a nest in the building because it's the second time in two weeks that a flying squirrel got in the ER.

Cats outnumber inmates at Fla. prison

BELLE GLADE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say dozens of cats that sneaked into a South Florida prison will be found new homes before the facility closes next month.

As many as 80 cats have burrowed under fences and taken up residence at the state-run prison in Belle Glade. Prisoners have been feeding the animals, even though rules prohibit that.

The 1,000-inmate prison closes Dec. 1. Officials tell The Palm Beach Post that as of Monday, there are more cats than prisoners at the facility. Just 69 inmates remain awaiting transfers.

Palm Beach County animal control officers are removing the cats so they won't starve when the prison closes. They're offering to waive adoption fees to find them new homes.

Some of the cats have been euthanized because they were feral and couldn't be adopted.

Pig gone, sheriff looking for stout thief

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — Whoever has Arthur Olterman's pig is either very inventive or very strong.

Olterman called the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office to report the white pig had been taken from its pen at a neighbor's house near Kingsport — all 450 pounds of it.

A deputy's report stated property owner Mary Keys wasn't available for him to interview on Monday, according to the Kingsport Times-News.

However, deputy Lyndon Williams saw where someone had cleared a path through some brush to get access to the pig. How they got it into a vehicle is cause for conjecture.

The porker is valued at about $350. Anyone who knows where the pig is or anything about its disappearance should call the Hawkins County sheriff.

TSA: Man hid snakes, tortoises in pants

MIAMI (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration says a man tried to board a flight from Miami to Brazil with nylon bags filled with exotic snakes and tortoises hidden in his pants.

TSA spokesman Jonathon Allen says the man was stopped after passing through a body scanner at Miami International Airport last Thursday. Security officials spotted the nylon bags filled with seven snakes and three tortoises stuffed inside the man's pants.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the animals were taken by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. The unidentified passenger was arrested.

Pajama-clad Minn. girls walk stolen goat

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Everything went according to plan for two pajama-clad stepsisters who took a goat they'd freed from a Minnesota zoo for a late-night walk.

Until they told the Mankato police officer who stopped them about 11:30 p.m. Saturday that the animal lived in their bedroom closet.

The stepsisters, ages 6 and 7, said they regularly took the goat out for late-night walks because Dad didn't know their mother had bought it two weeks earlier.

The unconvinced officer walked the girls home, where their parents explained they'd attended a birthday party at the Sibley Park Zoo earlier that day. That's when they hatched a plan to take one of the goats home.

The Free Press says police don't know how the girls freed the goat, which was returned to the zoo.

NY man accused of purloining parrot

AUBURN, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a 43-year-old central New York man entered a woman's home, stole her parrot, computer and dryer knobs and unplugged her refrigerator.

Lee L. Baker Jr. of Auburn, near Syracuse, is accused of burglarizing the home of the woman who had an order of protection issued against him.

City police say they picked him up Monday on a warrant and charged him with felony burglary and two misdemeanors.

Police say the stolen items, including a green and red Cinnamon Cheek Conure parrot, were returned by Baker's girlfriend.

Baker was released on bail and is to return to court at a later date. There was no phone listing for Baker in Auburn and his lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Drunk men take dead gator off-roading

 The flattened and preserved reptile is at the center of possible legal action against three Michigan men charged with its theft and subsequent display on a Ford pickup at a nearby mud-bogging party

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say three intoxicated men stole a 14-foot flattened and preserved alligator, strapped it to a pickup truck and took it off-roading.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reports that 55-year-old Douglas Ward of Linden, 60-year-old Roy Griffith of Linden and 53-year-old John Sanborn of Harrison are charged with breaking and entering.

The charges stem from a June 25 theft from a barn in Hartland Township, about 40 miles northwest of Detroit. Sheriff Bob Bezotte says the alligator's owner found tire tracks near his barn and followed them to a party in Deerfield Township where the men were driving their vehicles around in the mud.

The men are due in Livingston County District Court July 20.

The Associated Press sought comment from the men's defense lawyers Thursday morning.

Cow hot-hoofs it from police near Philly

An undated photo shows the white cow escaped from Madina Poultry in Upper Darby, Pa., during loading last Saturday. (AP Photo/ Colin Kerrigan/Delaware County Daily Times)

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (AP) — Call it a heifer hot pursuit.

The Delaware County Daily Times reports it took officers about an hour to round up a slaughter-bound cow that got loose in a borough adjoining Philadelphia.

Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says the cow was reported loose Saturday night. He says his officers pursued it in their cruisers and eventually cornered it in an alley by blocking it in.

During its dash to freedom the cow ran into a car, causing minor damage.

An employee for the butcher soon arrived and lassoed the creature.

Klepto cat piles up the loot in Swiss town

GENEVA (AP) — Forget mice. A Swiss cat named Speedy has an eye for finer things.

Speedy has stolen so much loot that its owner had to post leaflets throughout a northern Swiss town saying “Help, our cat steals!” and inviting people to recover their missing things.

Margrit Geiger of Wiesendangen said her kleptomaniac cat switched three years ago from bringing home mice to stealing badminton shuttlecocks, all to impress her teenage son.

Then the cat began specializing in gloves, scarves and T-shirts. The latest obsession: underwear and black socks.

Geiger told the Swiss daily Blick the cat has nabbed more than 100 items, and the paper said Thursday some neighbors have already claimed items back.

Veterinarian Brigitte Buetikofer says animals steal to gain attention, so ignoring them is the best cure.

Oregon officer named Byrd rescues hawk

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It's the kind of story that creates its own headline — Byrd Rescues Hawk.

Oregon's KGW-TV reports that Portland Police Bureau officer Cage Byrd — his real name — spotted a young red-tailed hawk standing outside a downtown hair salon on Tuesday.

The raptor chick appeared to be injured, so Byrd grabbed some towels and a box from a nearby hotel and took the hawk to a veterinary hospital.

The bird was later taken to the Audubon Society, which says the hawk probably fell from a nest near the KGW Audubon Raptor Cam. The remote camera records the activity of a raptor family and is shown on a website that has become popular.

One of the three chicks sustained a leg injury last week.

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