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NYPD Solves a High-Profile Turtlenapping

Mackenzie Freeman

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The New York City Police Department makes headlines every day, but it is not every day that the NYPD makes headlines for solving a turtle kidnapping case. But kudos go to the NYPD for solving the disappearance of a beloved resident of Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens, 100-year-old African spurred tortoise, Millennium.

A Century of Millennium at Alley Pond

Millennium could have been a youthful, 11-year-old turtle when the 655-acre Alley Pond Park was acquired by the City of New York in 1929. When Millennium found his, her, or its way to the park, the Alley Pond was the source of water that the town of Flushing used for, well, flushing. Millennium survived the construction of the Long Island Expressway across the park, the creation of a golf course, and the founding of the Alley Pond Environmental Center at 228-06 Northern Boulevard in Queens in 1972.

Or maybe Millennium wasn’t around for any of those events. Although Millennium undoubtedly weighs about 100 pounds, and is larger than many of the children who come to visit him every day the park is open, the turtle rescuers who found the intrepid animal believe he could be a mere 17 years old or possibly as much as 100 years old. Either way, visitors to the park regularly ask to see him. And that is how they learned he was missing.

A Shocking Tortoise Disappearance

When visitors asked to see Millennium on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 18, 2017, Millennium was nowhere to be found. The attendants had no difficulty locating Millennium’s companion turtle Mini-Me, but even checks of video surveillance cameras showed no sign of the celebrity turtle. We think of tortoises as moving slowly, but actually they can move quickly, blending in with trees and grasses, so the park staff held out hope that Millennium might just be taking a little vacation looking for a different source of grass and grubs. But when there was no trace of Millennium the next day, they had no choice but to call the police. They were afraid they had a Code 597, abuse of an animal.

Millennium Returns from Connecticut

Fortunately, a Connecticut resident with a conscience made the reunion of Millennium with his young fans possible. And helped the police nab the turtlenappers’ accomplice Shawn Waters in the process.

Thirty-seven year old Shawn Waters loves turtles. He kept small turtles and other animals in the apartment he shared with his mother in Queens. On the afternoon of July 18, Waters was approached by two men who had cut a hole in the back of Millennium’s enclosure and absconded with the famous reptile. They made a deal with Waters to sell him the stolen turtle, and Waters started to take Millennium home in a stolen shopping cart. But no sooner did he have Millennium in his clutches than he realized his mother would never let him keep Millennium at home.

Waters hatched a plan to cover up his crime and get a smaller turtle his mother would approve. A man in Stamford, Connecticut had placed an ad on Craigslist to sell his musck turte. Waters struck a deal to swap reptiles and get $300 cash in the process. (Ordinarily, a turtle of Millennium’s 2 foot by 2-1/2 foot size and gentle watermelon-eating habits would have fetched about $2500, according to park officials.) Waters, who does not own a car, took a commuter train with Millennium to Connecticut, where he sealed the deal.

But by this time the police were checking turtle transactions on Craigslist. They located the buyer, who surrendered the turtle, which was returned safely to Alley Pond Park.

Waters was arrested and later sentenced to six months in jail at Rikers Island. His mother reports that he hopes to get his license to work as a security guard back when he gets out of jail.

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Pets Have Helped People Get Through the Health Crisis

Leslie Tander

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The ongoing health crisis of 2020 has not been easy for anyone. It’s been especially difficult for some people, but it has truly been hard for all people in some way or another. Some individuals have managed to find ways to cope with it, however. Other people are just in a comparatively fortunate position. It would seem that pet owners fall into that category. 

People who are used to working in person are now able to spend much more time with their pets. The pets themselves obviously do not know what it happening. They’re just aware of the fact that their human family members are now able to spend much more time with them. 

Many people are still having a difficult time staying positive, especially because the health crisis has lasted much longer than many people anticipated. Still, the people who have pets on home might be coping with the situation more easily. 

There was a recent survey conducted by the Gallant company. This is an organization that specializes in banking canine stem cells, giving the dogs the chance to get additional health benefits later in life. The survey involved a sample of one thousand Americans who have pets, which is a decently large and representative sample. 

The Gallant company wanted to see how the health crisis was affecting pets and their human family members. It’s interesting to note that more people today are adopting pets, especially dogs and cats. Some of the people who decided to adopt new pets did so spontaneously, so they would not have done so if the health crisis had not occurred. 

Some people may have decided to do so because they knew that they were going to be home a lot, and they wanted to have some company. Other people may have decided to reevaluate their lives and think about plans that they made years ago. They may have decided that this was the perfect time to get a new dog or cat.

Many other individuals may have been worried about dogs and cats getting abandoned during this health crisis, which has been happening in some areas. Lots of people are trying to do their part in order to help these days. Adopting dogs and cats can certainly be part of the picture. 

The successful Gallant company wanted to release this survey in time for the National Dog Day holiday, which many people might decide to celebrate this year. An astonishing sixty-eight percent of the survey respondents said that they socialized more with their dogs, cats, or other pets than they did with other people throughout the ongoing health crisis.

It isn’t surprising that this is the case, since so many people are practicing social distancing at the moment. While there are big families that have dogs and cats, there are plenty of people who have dogs and cats and don’t live with other family members. 

A shocking seventy-nine percent of the survey respondents said that they did not initially have any adoption plans scheduled. This all seems to have changed very quickly for a lot of people, especially for the people who lived by themselves beforehand.

Social distancing has been more difficult for some people. Individuals who live alone have potentially had a difficult time staying connected with other people since the beginning of this crisis. Some people have said that they have been able to spend much more time with their families since this all started, which has certainly helped some people get through it all. However, not all people have had that benefit. Getting pets of their own has changed things for them. 

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Strange Sounds Coming From the Walls Reveal a HAUNTING Surprise to New Homeowners!

Mackenzie Freeman

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No matter where you are in the country, every town has a story about that house. You know the one. The house that looms above all, lending urban legends and stories to people in the community. Well, today, we are going to introduce you to a home in Germantown, Tennessee, as well as the mysterious sounds that emanated from its walls. Let’s dig in because this story is going to make you want to check your own walls!

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Airline Passengers Attention Please: Avoid Wearing These Items While You Fly!

Leslie Tander

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With the state that the airline industry is currently in, flying comfortably can be a challenging quest to undertake. Despite how uncomfortable flying can be, air travel has become the beating heart that connects every nation on our planet. Knowing that air travel is so important, we felt that it was vital to understand what best to wear during our travels. Today, we are going to highlight everything that airline passengers should avoid wearing while flying!

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