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New York State DEC warning: ‘DON’T PAINT SQUIRRELS’

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding residents to refrain from painting squirrels, after a Patterson man was accused of doing just that.

According to the DEC, the Putnam County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suspected a man on parole was painting squirrels red and releasing them into a park.

Environmental conservation police officers carried out a surveillance operation on December 28. They allegedly saw a red squirrel cross a street less than a block away from the suspect’s home.

When investigators interviewed the man on January 13, he allegedly admitted to trapping the squirrels, painting them red, and releasing them. He said he did it to keep track of which squirrels returned to his home and made his dog bark.

“Never thought we’d have to say this,” the DEC tweeted, “but DON’T PAINT SQUIRRELS!”

Environmental conservation officers ticketed the man “for violations related to the trapping, transporting, and liberating of wildlife.” He was also charged for mistreating animals by the Putnam County SPCA.

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