- Jackson man to cast electoral vote for Trump; others trying to dissuade him (11/29/16)51
- Man killed by vehicle had been charged with domestic assault (11/30/16)
- Hotel chain president: City should regulate short-term lodging (11/27/16)16
- Former Cape council member dies, remembered as 'wonderful public servant' (11/29/16)1
- Woman accused in three robberies disguised herself as man (11/29/16)5
- Post-election taunts reported at Jackson schools (12/2/16)22
- Officers: Delta man dies during domestic dispute (11/28/16)1
- Business notebook: New store shows faith in Scott City district (11/28/16)
- Missouri chamber to honor Cape's John Mehner (11/30/16)6
- Men who pulled father, son from burning car near Naylor honored by highway patrol (12/1/16)
Pets -- wanted and unwanted -- in the wild
The very notion of catching a 6-foot-long Asian water monitor in an Illinois wheat field is enough to make you wonder if reality has turned into a really bad B movie.
But, as it turns out in so many stories like this, the amphibious lizard was somebody's stray pet. Lizard and owner are happily reunited.
But not all wayward pets return to the care and feeding they usually need to survive. A caiman -- which looks an awfully lot like an alligator or crocodile to untrained Midwestern eyes -- was killed recently after attempts failed to capture it along the Missouri River near Kansas City. It had been set free by some owner, as was the case in the 1980s with another caiman that showed up in the Lake Lotawana residential community -- also near Kansas City.
Stray pets aren't always so exotic, and they seem to fall into one of two categories: wanted and unwanted.
Countless pets -- of the cat and dog variety, mostly -- are deliberately dumped along country roads by owners who don't have the decency to take them to shelters or a vet for proper handling.
However, some pets, like the water monitor, get away from their owners. A lot of animals that fall into the got-away-and-we-want-you-back category seem to be snakes, but we'll leave that issue to someone else.
Owning a pet is a responsibility that is taken seriously by most animal lovers but too frequently ignored by those who consider excess pets to be as disposable as the foam containers from which they slurp their 32-ounce beverages.