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Home » News » New York State » DEC reminds people not to paint squirrels: Man ticketed for doing it in Putnam County

DEC reminds people not to paint squirrels: Man ticketed for doing it in Putnam County

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued an unusual reminder to the public: do not paint squirrels. This warning comes after a Patterson resident, currently on parole, was accused of painting squirrels red and releasing them. The Putnam County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raised suspicions about the individual’s activities, leading to a DEC investigation.


On December 28, environmental conservation officers observed a red squirrel near the man’s residence during a surveillance operation. Upon interviewing the suspect on January 13, he confessed to capturing squirrels, painting them red, and releasing them to monitor which ones returned and caused disturbances for his dog. The DEC expressed disbelief over the need to make such a statement, tweeting a caution against the act of painting wildlife.

The individual faced legal repercussions for his actions, receiving tickets for the unlawful trapping, transporting, and releasing of wildlife. Additionally, the Putnam County SPCA charged him with animal mistreatment. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting wildlife and adhering to state regulations concerning animal welfare.