Originally created 09/10/04

Odds and Ends



PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A man who tried to shoot seven puppies was shot himself when one of the dogs put its paw on the revolver's trigger.

Jerry Allen Bradford, 37, was charged with felony animal cruelty, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. He was being treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to his wrist.

Bradford said he decided to shoot the 3-month-old shepherd-mix dogs in the head because he couldn't find them a home, according to the sheriff's office.

On Monday, Bradford was holding two puppies - one in his arms and another in his left hand - when the dog in his hand wiggled and put its paw on the trigger of the .38-caliber revolver. The gun then discharged, the sheriff's report said.

Deputies found three of the puppies in a shallow grave outside Bradford's home, said sheriff's Sgt. Ted Roy.

The four others appeared to be in good health and were taken by Escambia County Animal Control, which planned to make them available for adoption.

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NEW ROME, Ohio -- No roads lead to New Rome.

This tiny central Ohio village, known to locals as a speed trap that raked in thousands of dollars in traffic fines every year, is no more.

The village's dissolution became official Wednesday and it now becomes another part of Prairie Township.

New Rome's demise came after a court sided with Attorney General Jim Petro and agreed the village had been operating illegally.

A recently passed law allows the state to seek dissolution of villages of fewer than 150 people if the state auditor finds a pattern of wrongdoing or incompetence in the its operation. The village admitted it did not pass a tax budget in 2004 and failed to follow election laws.

Wednesday was the deadline for village defenders to file an appeal.

The police department generated about $300,000 a year in fines from speeding tickets written along a two-block stretch of West Broad Street.

Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge David Cain also dismissed pending traffic tickets issued by the village, which affected about 2,000 motorists.

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KEY CENTER, Wash. -- A family moving into a home west of Tacoma was greeted by an unusual welcome wagon.

A family member found a young male wallaby - a marsupial native to Australia - outside the home's rear door, authorities said.

"It was just tapping on the back door," Sgt. Ted Jackson of the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife said Wednesday. "We're real curious where it came from."

The wallaby was taken to the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society, and appears to be comfortable around humans.

"He just cuddles right up to you," said Humane Society spokeswoman Marguerite Richmond.

Animal control officers say the wallaby may have been raised as a pet, which is legal in the county, and then either escaped or was abandoned. The animal now occupies a dog kennel in the shelter's isolation wing and feeds on timothy hay and carrots.

"Ideally, he should have kangaroo pellets, but they don't have those at Top Foods," a supermarket chain, Richmond said.

If no one claims the wallaby within a day or so, the Humane Society has arranged permanent quarters at a sanctuary in Redmond.

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BROOKFIELD, Ill. -- Keepers at the Brookfield Zoo tried everything they could think of to help relieve arthritis in the front legs of Jewel, an aging Bactrian camel.

But in 2003, a former colleague suggested another, less traditional approach - acupuncture. The staff saw an improvement a few days after the first treatment.

"I hadn't seen this camel run for more than two years, she'd gotten so lame," said Mary Schollhamer, Jewel's chief keeper. "But when she saw me that morning, she ran all the way to the fence to greet me. I was so moved, I started to cry."

Dr. Barbara Royal said Tuesday that she treats the 1,600-pound animal every two or three weeks with the same needles that are used on humans.

Although keepers reward Jewel with a treat every time a needle goes in, she's not always happy about the treatment, Schollhamer said.

"Camels can kick in any direction when they're upset, so Dr. Royal has to be careful around Jewel," Schollhamer said.