AR-News: (NJ - US) Chickens injured by student prank

Snugglezzz at Snugglezzz at
Thu Jun 10 09:54:42 EDT 2004

Chickens injured by student prank    

Thursday, June 10, 2004 


RAMSEY - Students were clucking on Wednesday after a trio of chickens waddled down a Ramsey High School hallway as part of a prank by some members of the senior class.

Animal cruelty authorities, however, weren't laughing. Apparently a student left the chickens in a knapsack inside a locked car before the joke, leaving one of the animals close to death as a result of the excessive heat, police said.

"Any animal that's not treated in the right manner is going to suffer the consequences," said James Lagrosa, operations captain for the Bergen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "With the high temperatures, we shouldn't have people locking any animals in vehicles."

The chickens were released on the first floor around noon and were quickly gathered up by teachers, police said. But not before the fowl caused a brief commotion and left a foul reminder of their visit in the hall, students said.

"Everyone ran [from their classes] to see the chickens," said Brian Matro, 17, a junior.

Freshman Chris Bruno said he was on the second floor when he heard clucking from below.

"We heard chickens," said Bruno, 15. "It was weird. One didn't look so good. It was nasty."

The animals appeared to be full-grown chickens, said Police Officer Jim Shoemaker. When he arrived, Shoemaker found school faculty performing makeshift CPR on one of the birds.

The chicken in the worst shape was being held in front of a large fan while teachers poured water on it in an attempt to nurse it back to health, he said. "One appeared to be dead and two were in generally poor condition," Shoemaker said.

The animals were taken to the Bergen County Animal Shelter, said county spokesman Brian Hague. Their fate was unknown late Wednesday afternoon.

It wasn't clear how many students were involved in the prank, or how long the chickens had been in the car before being released, police said.

The mercury hit 93 in Ramsey on Wednesday. The temperature inside a locked car was probably 130 to 140 degrees, Lagrosa said.

Police said the chickens apparently were bought Wednesday morning at a local farm. Some students said that several more chickens, and ladybugs, had been released. But only the three chickens were found, authorities said.

High school administrators referred calls to schools Superintendent Bruce DeYoung, who was out of his office and couldn't be reached for comment.

Police Chief Bryan Gurney said his department would work with the Bergen County SPCA, which is investigating the incident. The county SPCA said it was too early to tell if charges would be filed against those behind the prank.

Matro said senior pranks on the last day before finals begin are somewhat of a tradition at the school. He said teachers often find out about plans beforehand and foil the gags.

"The teachers are mad," Matro said. "They're not taking this as a joke." 

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