This Animal Lover on Officer's Side, This Time

United States
April 11, 2011 2:05pm CST
So, everyone here who knows me knows that I will be the first to call out ANYONE who unjustifiably causes any animal any harm...but there was a situation yesterday that has me coming to this police officers defense. At the start of the video he is standing between a squirrel and the students at a highschool he is patroling at. There is a young squirrel that seems unafraid of people, and is approaching the crowd of students and the officer. The officer waits and see's if teh squirrel will leave, which is doesn't. And the officer only pepper sprays the squirrel at the end of the video when it continues to move towards him. The officer said he was worried the squirrel might have been rabid, and that is why he chose to act upon it. I have to side with the officer on this one and say there's no way to know if a wild animal has rabies, especially if it approaches people. And I have to commend him for using the most survivable weapon he had at his disposal. He could have chosen to taze the little critter, which would have most definitely been the end of it. He used the minimum amount of force he could to keep everyone safe. Don't worry, the squirrel was treated by animal control and later released back into the whild. Here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNp7cHLWrks I know there will be different opinions on this topic. And please don't think me any less of an animal lover because I sided with the cop this time. I am anxious to hear what people think. Thanks!
2 people like this
8 responses
@Galena (9124)
12 Apr 11
surely throwing sticks and stones near the squirrel, and shouting, arm waving and chasing would have been better? I do that with the cats that use my garden as a toilet, and I wouldn't DREAM of pepper spraying them. such a small animal to have something so painful used on them. and the effects on small animals aren't really known. it could have killed it. I think there are better ways it could have been driven off.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Apr 11
Oo! Just me personally, I'd be worried about throwing stuff at it because I would be so worried I would accidently hit it! Then I would feel bad for a long time! lol. But there wasn't really anything like that around that the cop could grab quickly and try to throw at the squirrel. And from the video I think you can kind of tell the cop used a very small amount, I don't think he was trying to cause the squirrel any more harm than he had too, and I definitely don't think he wanted to kill it. Thanks for participating!
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
12 Apr 11
I once worked where squirrels were continually begging treats from our lunch crowd, & they would come right up & take food from one's fingers. Most of us loved them, though the university considered them pests. I tell you this to let you know, I've over 20 years experience with spoiled rotten squirrels who played at our feet & even in our laps. I also know how to recognize rabid animal behavior, & in no way did this one act rabid. I carefully watched the video, & I'm reasonably certain that this squirrel wasn't rabid, just well-acquainted with humans handing it a treat. It did NOT look as though it were unsteady on its feet, or aggressive (merely tame). I have to disagree with you, as I think the cop over-reacted. The crowd apparently wasn't in fear, & many who were begging him not to spray probably even knew this little guy. I think the cop--with whom I nearly always side!--was in the wrong here, & should just have left it alone. Obviously I'm correct, or the squirrel would not have been released. Also, I'm a bit alarmed that it doesn't say where in "the wild" the squirrel was taken. Squirrels don't move well, being very territorial. I do hope they took it back to its familiar stomping grounds, so it wouldn't be afraid & confused in a strange area, where it doesn't know where it's safe to bolt & hide, where other squirrel colonies might attack it, or anything else untoward could happen to it. Maggiepie "Ye can paint a crow white, but that ain't gonna make it a dove." ~ "Mags," fictional character from author Mercedes Lackey, in "Intrigues"
• United States
13 Apr 11
I understand what you're saying, and the info in the article did provide proof that the chances the squirrel had rabies was very small. But I never knew any of that about squirrels before. So, perhaps the cop didn't know anything about rabies and squirrels either. Even though, considering it didn't have rabies, the cop may have overreacted, I think he may have reacted in a way he thought appropriate. My motto is, it's better to overreacted than underreact in possible dangerous situations It's nice to know that you side with the cops a lot, so many people hate cops and always want to complain about what they do. Thanks for playing devil's advocate.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
13 Apr 11
No, I'm not even mad at the cop. I know he was just doing his best. Things I hate include ignorance & injustice, so wherever & whenever I see an opportunity to spread knowledge & peace, or stand up for what's right, I jump in. I just hope someone gently informs the policeman that the squirrel is, in all likelihood, safe. A bit of a pest, perhaps, in the eyes of some, but not rabid. It would be a first! I totally get cops, & do all I can to support them, including going up to them & just saying thank you, even in public, such as at a restaurant. People who literally lay their lives on the line daily for us (& here I include firefighters, the military, the coast guard--all our heroes & heroines!) deserve our respect & gratitude, & they are under attack in this country today by hooligans, & worse, by some opportunistic politicians oh don't even let me get started on that; my blood pressure's already too high!!! Maggiepie "England & America are two countries divided by a common language." ~ G.B. Shaw
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
13 Apr 11
LOL! Well, good! Your idea of paying for meals for local heroes & heroines is a capitol idea! I could have done that myself, back when I had a job & went out to eat, but it just never occurred to me! As an erstwhile Dunkin' Donuts (sic) waitress who learned early on that police, at least, never were asked to pay for their doughnuts & coffee because people appreciated them, & because they frequently didn't get to finish, being called off to some event on the fly--I should've thought of it myself! (headsmack emoticon needed here.../o) Brava for you, nice lady! I'm impressed! Wouldn't it be grand if your idea caught on! Wow! I may listen to the song later, but I just had a crying jag, & really really don't want to do that again so soon! :o) But bless you for your caring heart! Maggiepie "England & America are two countries divided by a common language." ~ G.B. Shaw
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
11 Apr 11
I agree with you, the officer did use the most minor way to stop the squirrel from coming to closer. At the same time, I can see myself as one of the girls begging him not to spray the squirrel, only because I can get too emotional where animals are concerned....
• United States
12 Apr 11
Oh, I too would be yelling for him not to spray it! lol. But after the fact, and after I knew the squirrel was okay, I wouldn't be mad at him or anything. Thanks!
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Apr 11
Yeah, it's our irrational emotional, "don't hurt the poor thing" mentality we have... I mean I am so bad, I wasn't interested in becoming a vet for only only the reason I'd have to be really good in math and science, but even to give an animal a shot, I couldn't do it..
• United States
8 May 11
It's really thoughtful for the police officer to not cause any other harm to this animal. But this animal can be a potential danger for all students in the high school, cute or not. I dont get how the squrriel got so used to being around humans since the description says that the school is a nut free zone due to allergies though.
• United States
8 May 11
Yeah, if you think about it, there are a lot of worse things this cop could have done. He could have kicked it or stomped it...that would have been cruel and wrong. He could have tazered it, that would have been WAY too much. But he used the least harmful method available to him, and he waited until he felt he absolutly had to. I'm sure the squirrel's at the school are just used to people, and the baby just got curious. But the cop couldn't have been sure of that, rabies is a dangerous disease, so he had to protect himself and the kids. But I think one good thing that came out of this is, that squirrel won't be running up to people anymore, which is good because there are some people in the world that WOULD hurt the squirrel.
@stephcjh (32385)
• United States
11 Apr 11
I think the officer did the right thing too. It could have turned out worse than that. I am an animal lover too and I am not sure what I would have done fi I did not have the thing that the officer used.
• United States
12 Apr 11
The officer used pepper spray. If I saw a baby squirrel and it was coming at me I'd probably be stupid and see if it would allow me to pick it up lol. But if I was really scared of it and didn't have pepper spray I'd probably just run (If i was alone) lol Thanks!
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
12 Apr 11
Here's some additional info on rabidness in squirrels you should see, from EMed: http://rabies.emedtv.com/rabies/rabies-and-squirrels.html All the more reason I think the cop shouldn't have sprayed the squirrel. Maggiepie "The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
@yugasini (12814)
• Anantapur, India
12 Apr 11
hi lilyofthe thorns, i think you might have forgotten me,do not worry,i know you are a animal lover,have you received any award for your dog which you have requested me for vote,western people are very much interested in animals,but not the other people,now a days in cities people love animals as a fashion or status symbol,have a nice day
@katsmeow1213 (28990)
• United States
11 Apr 11
If nobody was harmed then alls well that ends well.