Animal Watch is a sporadic column that pops up in the Post, tiny articles culled from animal control agency logs. During the week, there will be a reporting by county. On Sunday, if something interesting happened, you’ll see a story repeated on its own. For instance, the story of the Errant Peahen Lured With Fries appeared in Thursday’s Montgomery County section with a slightly less interesting title. Then they dressed it up and stuck it in today’s paper as well.
Animal Watch copies the style of the Crime Reports that appear with greater regularity. Sometimes the writer seems to be trying to make a point, such as the collection of Alexandria/Arlington stories that appeared mid-December:
- MANSION DR., 300 block, Dec. 22. Animal control was dispatched to pick up a dead rat found floating in a toilet. The rat was taken to the city shelter for disposal.
- CREST ST., 2400 block, Dec. 15. Animal control was asked to pick up a dead squirrel in the middle of the street. The squirrel was taken to the city shelter for disposal.
- ULINE AVE., 4000 block, Dec. 16. Animal control responded to a call to pick up a dead opossum on the side of the street. The opossum was taken to the city shelter for disposal.
- COMMONWEALTH AVE., 3200 block, Dec. 14. Animal control was dispatched to pick up a dead opossum between two apartment buildings. The opossum was taken to the city shelter for disposal.
The point here, I am guessing, is to warn the kids reading Animal Watch that the life of an animal control officer isn’t all glamour and intrigue. This was an unusual column, though, as they usually post more poetic or fascinating incidents:
Dog Held in Chicken Killings
SUNSHINE, Georgia Ave., 21000 block, Dec. 17. A dog was reportedly killing chickens at a residence. An animal services officer responded and found the dog, a chow, with a rooster in its mouth. The rooster died from its injuries. Earlier that day, another rooster had been killed. The officer chased the dog for several minutes and caught him. He took the dog to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter, where efforts were being made to locate the dog's owner. An investigation was continuing.
It’s a sad tale, I know, but didn’t the with a rooster in its mouth part leave you gaping in astonishment? It’s like a tv show or something. How I love Animal Watch. Here’s another recent one:
Guide Dog Gets Caught Up in a Situation
D STREET NE, 100 block, Dec. 9. A blind woman was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police after she attempted to enter the Russell Senate Office Building with a pistol in her purse. The gun was discovered by an X-ray machine, said Capitol Police Officer Michael Lauer. The woman was taken to the D.C. jail, and her guide dog was taken to Capitol Police headquarters, where animal control picked it up. The woman, who was charged with carrying a pistol without a license, claimed her dog the next day at the D.C. Animal Shelter.
Don’t you love the restraint? Naturally you are left with questions, but this is Animal Watch, where we report animal stuff, mister.
Unfortunately, there are too many abandonment cases to include, so we just get the most interesting highlights. Here are a couple, again from recent weeks:
FIRST ST. NE, 1000 block, Dec. 18. A man tried to put a carrier containing a cat into the lower luggage compartment of a Boston-bound bus, but the driver said the animal was not allowed. The driver gave the passenger the option of taking a later bus, allowing him time to take the cat to a caretaker in the Washington area. The man chose to board the earlier bus and left the animal at the station. Animal control was called and the cat was taken to the D.C. shelter. The man called from Boston three days later and asked animal control workers to make arrangements to send the cat to Massachusetts. They declined, and the cat was made available for adoption.
COLUMBIA, Cradlerock Way, 11 a.m. Dec. 16. A man took a cat and four 2-day-old kittens in a box to a veterinarian's office and attempted to leave the animals at the office. An employee told the man that he could not leave the animals there. The man then asked for directions and fled the office without the animals. He was seen entering a vehicle and shouting, "Go, go, go!" The next day, an animal control officer impounded the cat and kittens from the veterinarian's office. According to county law, leaving an animal without permission is abandonment and is a criminal act. Services offered by animal control and the humane society should be used when giving up pets.