M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘animals-in-the-news

Dear P.R. practitioners: We are not idiots (Updated)

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Follow-up Nov. 19: The enterprising promoter behind this pitch wrote back today — not to complain about this post, but to “briefly followup” (noun as a verb from the original) to see whether I was still interested in the story. As a sweetener, he offered “fun behind-the-scenes photos and video outtakes of Morris being his adorably orange tabby cat self.”


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November 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm

11 Buzzfeed Listicles of 11 Things

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May 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Pro tip: Chimpanzees are not good interviews

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Click the image for the video.

Full story (KRNV-TV of Reno, Nev.)

Written by Alex

July 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

Police Blotter of the Day: Pet store allegedly cuts off dog’s ear, then glues it back on

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Gladys Kapuwai of Honolulu says in a lawsuit that she took Dodo, a Gilzale and Pomeranian-Maltese mix, for grooming last year July and realized a couple of days later that one of Dodo’s ears had been cut.

“When I took her to the vet, the doctor had told me it looked like they tried to glue it back,” Kapuwi said.

“I couldn’t believe what they did. I started crying, because this is our baby, too, you know.”

Video (KHNL-TV of Honolulu)

Written by Alex

February 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Police Blotter of the Day: Bull shot to death after daring meat-plant escape

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Cross-posted from msnbc.com, where it originally appeared:

By M. Alex Johnson, msnbc.com

An animal control officer shot and killed a bull Thursday after it escaped on its way to a Maryland meat processing plant, charged a sheriff’s deputy and damaged a patrol car, authorities said.

The bull escaped Thursday morning in Mount Airy, Md., about 50 miles north of Washington, as it was being led from a truck into the plant, said Brian Horton, a spokesman for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff’s incident report, the bull broke free, charged a bystander and ran off in the general direction of a day care center. Deputies followed him into a nearby field, where he then charged one of the deputies.

“Fearing for their safety, a deputy discharged two rounds from a shotgun, striking the bull, and causing him to retreat into a wooded area,” the report said. A county animal control officer then finished him off with two more shots.

Besides the bull, the only casualty was the taillight on a deputy’s cruiser, which the bull slammed into as he eluded attempts to corral him. The body of the bull — presumably no longer fit for human consumption as it was by then lead-contaminated — was released back to its owner.

Written by Alex

December 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

What do you report, and what don’t you report?

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Over at msnbc.com, I’ve written up the gruesome story of a sick person who has coldly and methodically dismembered at least six cats since October and left their remains on a Florida golf course.

The details of the story are horrifying, raising a serious question: How much is enough in a news story?

Here’s what I chose to report:

Read the rest of this entry »

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December 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Police Blotter of the Day: Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

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Andri Jeffers via Yavapai County Sheriff's Office

Andri Jeffers (via Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

News release from the Yavapai County, Ariz., Sheriff’s Office:

On November 23, 2011, at approximately 6:15 PM, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a reported robbery at the Chevron Station in the 2700 block of Highway 69, Dewey-Humboldt. The Chevron employee stated that a female entered the mini-mart with her right hand concealed under her sweater, claiming she had a bomb, and demanding cash from the register. The clerk explained the store was closing and the register was empty. The suspect threatened to blow up the clerk if he did not comply. She then walked behind the counter, grabbed a bag, and demanded the clerk place cash in the bag. The clerk refused to cooperate and the suspect eventually fled the store.

The clerk was able to obtain a license plate number from the suspect’s dark colored Chrysler Pacifica vehicle as it fled north on Highway 69 toward Prescott Valley.

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November 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

Police Blotter of the Day: Bay Area man accused of skinning, eating bobcat

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Where I come from, that verb would be “applauded for.”

Investigators said the bobcat made five of Henry Arnibal’s 50 roosters into a tasty meal.

Arnibal was not pleased with the bobcat eating his roosters, so the Morgan Hill man shot the big cat with a .22-caliber rifle and turned the tables, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Steve Lowney said.

Prosecutors said Arnibal used tools to skin the bobcat before eating it.

Eating a bobcat is not illegal, but it is against the law to kill one, Lowney said.

Prosecutors said Arnibal was high on methamphetamine when he killed and ate the bobcat.

Full story (KCRA-TV of Sacramento, Calif.)

Written by Alex

November 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Why I Love Local News: Bull semen forces closure of interstate ramp

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Canisters of bull semen caused quite a scare on the on-ramp to Interstate 65 South Tuesday morning.

The canisters fell off a Greyhound bus just after 5 a.m. as the bus traveled around the curve of the ramp just south of downtown Nashville.

Fire and emergency crews were called to the scene amid reports of a foul odor. …

Officials traced the containers to Greyhound after finding bus tickets on the ground. The bus did not know it lost its load and had continued on. …

Greyhound said the sperm was stored in a separate compartment below the bus and not near the belongings of passengers.

Well, that’s a relief. 

Full story (WKRN-TV of Nashville, Tenn.)

Written by Alex

August 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

(Bonus) Police Blotter of the Day: Idaho residents annoyed by neighbor in bunny suit

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“Police in Idaho Falls have told a 34-year-old man to stop wearing his bunny suit in public because it was annoying his neighbors and frightening their children.

“A police report says officers responded Monday after a resident reported her son had been frightened by William Falkingham wearing a black bunny costume and hiding behind a tree pointing his finger at the boy like it was a gun. …

“They also reported he occasionally wears a tutu with the costume.”

Full story (AP via KHQ-TV)

Written by Alex

August 2, 2011 at 11:22 am