In June, a woman in Aspen, Colorado, was acquitted after a 90-minute trial of charges that she failed to pick up after her dog. A county ranger cited Marion Lansburgh for the fecal infraction in March, but she argued that her husband had retrieved the dung shortly thereafter, and pointed out that the statute did not specify when the retrieval had to occur. A judge agreed. ""[W]e don't want to be draconian," said the ranger, explaining why the county felt it was necessary to take this matter to trial, "but we [also] don't want people walking in a corridor of feces."
Coincidentally, Corridor of Feces would be a really good name for a really terrible band.
Also in June, a 28-year-old New Jersey man was arrested for "creating false public alarms" after he repeatedly called police claiming to be the President of the United States and demanding to speak to Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. Police found the man hiding under some pillows in his mother's closet and took him into custody. Shortly after being released, he angrily threw his summons on the ground, and was then ticketed for littering.
"It would be manifestly unjust … for [defendant] to serve eight or more additional years in a federal penitentary because he once allowed his llama to escape from its pen," wrote the Seventh Circuit recently, ruling that the "llama incident" should not count under federal sentencing guidelines. Had the llama incident counted, the defendant would have been subject to a 10-year minimum sentence for marijuana possession because it would essentially have been his third strike. But the court held that the charge of llama abandonment should not count because it was more akin to fish-and-game violations, which also don't count.
In other animal-law news, a New York man was fired earlier this month for asking a welfare recipient to watch his pet ferret. This isn't illegal, necessarily, but because the ferret-owner was the recipient's caseworker, a city board found that he had unfairly exploited his position by asking for the favor. Ferrets were (and still are) banned in New York City under the regime of Rudy Giuliani, who once called the president of a ferret-advocacy group "deranged." "This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness," Giuliani said.
Also banned in the five boroughs: dingos, aardwolves, tigers, bears, pole cats, monkeys, bats, gila monsters, Komodo dragons, Tasmanian devils, hippopotami, sharks, elephants, and gliding lemurs, among many, many others.