This is an odd one for sure. This morning I was going through my morning routine when a super weird story stopped me in my tracks.

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Each morning before the I-95 Morning Show I prepare my local stories first, and then I organize my national headlines. I'd wrapped up the local research and moved onto the headlines from across the country when I got confused. I saw a story out of Patterson, NY and thought I'd lost my place, maybe I needed more coffee?

It turns out I was right where I needed to be and a Patterson story was showing up on a national media service. If a story from Putnam County shows up on this particular media radar, it has to be bananas or nuts in this case. It proved to be all of the above and I was reading something I've never heard before, a local man accused of animal cruelty against squirrels.

Here is a portion of a press release from the Putnam County SPCA;

"The Putnam County SPCA announces the arrest of Mark Kuhn, a 62-year-old resident of the Town of Patterson. The Putnam County SPCA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police worked in conjunction after being alerted by the Putnam County Probation Department that Mr. Kuhn, who is on Probation for an unrelated crime, admitted to illegally trapping squirrels on his property, spraying them with apple-red colored “Rust-Oleum Paint + Primer”, then releasing them at another location within the Town."

The release goes on to indicate that they seized Mr. Kuhn's traps and he faces a variety of very serious animal cruelty charges. According to LoHud: an official said that he was using a toxic paint, and was INTENTIONALLY harming them because he didn't want them coming onto his property.

We spoke about this on the I-95 Morning Show on Thursday (1/18/24) and my #1 concern was did this story came out of the Putnam Lake portion of Patterson? I am a "Dirty Laker" through-and-through and I didn't want any unnecessary bad press dumped on our plate.

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Who messes with squirrels man? I love chipmunks and squirrels on a level most people can't understand.

FUN FACT: I call my wife "squirrel", that is my only obnoxious nickname for her.

I have reached out to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department to see if there are any additional details that could help round this story out. I got an immediate response from my contact and was told they would get back to me with anything extra if there is something to provide.

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