- Two men accused of selling meth to undercover cop (6/22/17)
- Cape man stabbed in head, arm after strip-club incident; skull fractured, police say (6/25/17)3
- Police: Man grabbed wheel, tried to kill driver and himself in Jackson crash (6/23/17)
- Jackson scores high in survey of residents; better streets, Aldi are high priorities (6/20/17)4
- Marble Hill mayor hires city manager without board approval (6/21/17)3
- Annual SEMO District Fair event lineup announced (6/23/17)1
- Oran town board fired officer before hiring him as police chief; city officials say they can't remember reason for firing (6/25/17)2
- Two charged in theft of jewelry from Cape storage facility (6/23/17)1
- Playing with fire (6/25/17)
- Judge denies request to revoke sheriff's bond (6/25/17)3
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.