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Tucson abandoned animals face fatal fate if they meet Phoebe

Contrary to what Tucson parents might tell their kids, unwanted goldfish flushed down the toilet don’t end up merrily swimming round Reid Park’s duck pond and small animals let loose in a midtown neighborhood do not live happily ever after.

They are lucky to live at all.

The most recent case of an abandoned pet left to fend for itself was a plump, handsome lizard that somehow ended up in my yard. While he tried his best to blend in with all the wild lizards leaping around the scene, something about him was different.

For starters, he became up trapped in a piece of plastic grass netting that all wild lizards innately avoid. While I was gingerly cutting the rotund reptile out of his trap with a pair of snips, I got a closer look at the beast and realized he was trapped because of the spikes encircling his neck.

The thing was a bearded dragon, promptly nicknamed Trappy, and not the usual sleek, slinky lizard skittering from the sprinkler or doing push-ups on the cinderblock fence. Once Trappy was set free, he didn’t scamper behind the mesquite like all the wild lizards do but rather sat and stared at me for some time before lumbering off into the distance.

Then my dog Phoebe killed him.

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Hummer driver purposely mows down ducklings, third-grader sells loaded gun at school and more: Rynski Radio – UPDATE with playlist and download

Anyone who thinks only jerks drive around in Hummers is right on at least one count, with the case of a Hummer driver who purposely ran over and killed four ducklings in a Michigan McDonald’s parking lot.

That story and more are up this week on Rynski’s Shattered Reality radio show on Party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Next show is Wednesday, May 4 (today!) and every Wednesday online at Party934.com. Showtime is noon in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST.

Party 934 is a radio alternative for listeners sick of stations that play one song followed by 500 commercials.

In honor of spring being in full blossom, this week’s theme is songs that mention trees, weeds, flowers and other foliage.

Thanks! to all who keep the song requests coming.

Continue reading Hummer driver purposely mows down ducklings, third-grader sells loaded gun at school and more: Rynski Radio – UPDATE with playlist and download

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Woman arrested for choking Walmart greeter, man jailed for shaking parrot and more: Rynski Radio – UPDATE with playlist and download

Fire fighters, police officers and window washers aren’t the only ones with dangerous jobs, as one Ohio Walmart greeter who was choked by a customer found out.

That story and more are up this week on Rynski’s Shattered Reality radio show on Party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Next show is Wednesday, Mar. 30 (today!) and every Wednesday online at Party934.com. Showtime is noon in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST.

Party 934 is a radio alternative for listeners sick of stations that play one song followed by 500 commercials.

This week’s theme is once again APOCALYPSE, as the end of the world takes at least two shows to complete.

Thanks! to all who keep the song requests coming.

Continue reading Woman arrested for choking Walmart greeter, man jailed for shaking parrot and more: Rynski Radio – UPDATE with playlist and download

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Wildlife abuse at its most obscene: Nine dead does, fawns slaughtered in Arizona ‘thrill kill’ – matches Troy Gentry’s slaying of tame bear Cubby

As if a headless javelina found hanging from a tree and a duct taped coyote discarded not far from the border weren’t enough evidence of some fine folks in parts of Arizona, we think we found one that is.

Random skull shot/Rynski file photo

Nine mule deer does and fawns were found slaughtered in the Bonita area north of Willcox, according to a news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Game and Fish surmise the killings took place somewhere between Dec. 3 and 8.

The dead does and fawns were so badly mangled that officials could not determine how they had been killed. The best guess is they were either run over by a vehicle or shot, either way left to rot in a field full of chilies.

Nice.

Continue reading Wildlife abuse at its most obscene: Nine dead does, fawns slaughtered in Arizona ‘thrill kill’ – matches Troy Gentry’s slaying of tame bear Cubby

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Parrot busted for helping narcotics cartel, Border Patrol drug dogs: Animals in the drug trade

Lorenzo the parrot – yes, parrot – was recently busted just for following orders.

Authorities seized 1,700 birds trained to act as drug lookouts/Thinkstock

Too bad his orders were to alert Columbian drug cartel members that police were lurking nearby, AP reports.

“Run, run, you are going to get caught,” is the catch phrase Lorenzo was trained to squawk in Spanish. And squawk he did when authorities moved in during an undercover drug raid last week on the cartel’s turf in Barranquilla.

Despite Lorenzo’s warning, authorities managed to seize “a large quantity” of marijuana, 200 weapons, and a stolen motorcycle. Police also made four arrests, perhaps from those too bird-brained to heed Lorenzo’s alert.

Oh, authorities also seized poor Lorenzo, along with 1,700 other birds who were also trained as lookouts for drug traffickers.

Nice.

For the record, “environmental authorities” now have the birds.

Does training animals to abet in illegal activities constitute animal cruelty or abuse?

Drug dog in action/submitted

On the other side of the ring, so to speak, we have the U.S. Customs and Border Protection canines trained to sniff out narcotics.

The canine program officially began on April Fools Day 1970, the CBP website says, just when the futile “drug war” kicked off to counter the “make love, do drugs” stuff of the 1960s.

A German shepherd named Albert sniffed out the first drug dog bust, alerting on a car’s door panel that concealed five pounds of marijuana.

Compare this to the overall haul for fiscal year 2009, when drug dogs sniffed out more than 670,000 pounds of marijuana along with some 26,000 pounds of cocaine, more than 1,000 pounds of heroin, nearly 3 million pills and $34 million in undeclared cash.

The canine program last year alone trained 128 detection canines, trained to sniff out drugs, concealed humans, money and firearms. Don’t forget those specially trained to detect prohibited agricultural products and meats, dead bodies and those used in search and rescue operations.

But the dogs, and authorities, are certainly kept busy as parrots are not the only critters recruited into the drug trade.

Carrier pigeons have been used to smuggle little baggies of heroin and cocaine into prisoners in Bosnia, ABC News says, while an AP blurb in Brown University’s Laboratory Primate Newsletter notes monkeys have also been used in the drug trade.

Two monkeys in Bangladesh, named Munni and Hamid, were confiscated from a drug house when authorities learned they had been trained to sell drugs to addicts who showed up needing their fix of a narcotic syrup called phensidyl. The addicts would hand the money to Munni while Hamid would retrieve the little bottles of the syrup from their hiding places on the roof, beneath the bed or wherever else they were stashed around the home.

[tnipoll]

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who likes drug sniffing dogs better than squawking parrots. Her column usually appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski, but the Friday, Sept. 24 entry will feature a special report instead. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com and Rynski.Etsy.com. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com.

NOTE: Thanks to Cherlyn Gardner Strong for bringing this topic to my attention.

What do you think?

Do animals trained to help cartels or deal drugs constitute animal abuse?

Would you buy drugs from a monkey?

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