Fact-or-Fake Friday: Gross Animal News Edition

February 28, 2014

What follows are three weird news stories involving animals. However, only two are real, and the other one we made up. Can you spot the fake? Check your answer at the end.


67-year-old Hiram Cohen is facing charges of animal cruelty after he was discovered hoarding more than 200 birds, dozens of which he appears to have painted with the colors of his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. The birds, which were kept in a 1,100-square foot townhouse in the Wilkinsburg neighborhood in Pittsburgh, included 42 canaries, 33 parakeets, 12 finches, 17 doves and 20 parrots. The animals were discovered when two Mormon missionaries reported “strong, foul odors” and “audible bird noises,” according to police reports. When the hazmat-clad officers were finally able to enter the home, nearly 12 hours later, they found conditions that were unfit for habitation, including extensive piles of bird droppings and dozens of pots of yellow and black paint littering nearly every surface of the home.


A Colorado woman (unnamed in reports) says she saved the life of a puppy she was fostering by breastfeeding the animal. According to a local news station, the woman has a 15-month-old child, and although she felt “weird” about it, she decided to try breastfeeding the puppy when it refused to eat anything else. “I just felt like he just had an hour left. That’s how weak he was, he wasn’t moving and I just did it,” she told the news station. The story became news when the woman took a photo of the puppy feeding at her breast and posted it to her Facebook page. She told the news station that the twp-day old black lab pup, the runt of the litter, was in her care after its mother had been killed, and she was desperate. “It was taboo to me as well. I guess you could call it like a maternal instinct?”


A 58-year-old St. Louis man was sentenced to two years of probation for mailing packages of cat poop to companies that didn’t hire him. Jevons Brown admitted to sending envelopes of feces to several employers out offrustration with his inability to land a job. But investigators were able to tie 20 packages of cat turds to Brown, who sent the kitty-bombs via the U.S. Postal Service. In court, the U.S. Attorney John Bodenhausen listed postal workers, the employees who received the cat poop in the mail, and those whose mail was adjacent to the poopy packages as victims. According to local news reports, Brown, who has no prior record, has found a job since his cat poop-mailing spree.

Want more fakes? Check out Uncle John’s Fake Facts. (Really!)

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