Here’s something you don’t see on the news every day. A man in the United States allegedly domesticated a squirrel, and then began feeding it meth in order to increase its aggressiveness. While there may be no crime prohibiting owning an “attack squirrel,” the treatment this squirrel received is most definitely illegal!
This once cute and friendly animal was kept caged in a home in Limestone County, Alabama. The suspect, Mickey Paulk, allegedly gave the squirrel drugs on a regular basis in order to keep it murderous and aggressive.
Police arrived to execute a search warrant earlier this week, after multiple people reported the the house was used for drug abuse and animal cruelty.
As stated in a news release provided by the Sheriff’s spokesman Stephen Young, “Prior to the search warrant, investigators were informed that Mickey Paulk kept an ‘attack squirrel’ inside his apartment, and that Paulk fed the squirrel meth to keep it aggressive.”
During the search, various illegal substances were seized along with drug paraphernalia, body armor. The drug-addled squirrel was found as well, sitting in its cage.
The suspect, Mickey Paulk, was not present at the residence at the time of the search warrant. Instead, police arrested another man who was found at the scene, Ronnie Reynolds, 37. Ronnie was arrested, and charged with multiple crimes: Possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and loitering at a known drug house. He was then transferred to the local jail and later released on bail.
In the meantime, an arrest warrant has been issued for Mickey Paulk on similar charges: possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.
When the police found the squirrel in the drug house, they called animal control. Animal control was unclear how to proceed in this very unique situation, so they called the Alabama Game and Fish Division of the Department of Conservation. The department explained that keeping a squirrel as a pet is dangerous and illegal and recommended that the squirrel in question be released into its natural habitat as soon as possible.
And for those of you wondering, was the squirrel really on meth? Was it tested? The Sheriff Mike Bailey’s office explained that “[there is] no safe way to test the squirrel for meth”.
The police at the scene ended up releasing the squirrel into the wild. We hope he is living his life out happily and cured from his traumatic experience.
On a separate note, this is nowhere near the first time that animals have been forced into a life of crime. Police in Brazil seized a “lookout parrot” that was trained to warn its owners of incoming visitors. As officers approached the property, home to a suspect drug operation, the parrot began shout “Mama, police!”
The parrot was rescued, and sent to receive flying lessons at the local zoo. Hopefully, it will soon be able to fly its way home to the wild.