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Tuesday, Jun 3, 2003County: Warren
Disposition: Not Charged
Abuser names unreleased
At least 10 Mason High School seniors let some wild animals into the school Tuesday morning in an alleged senior prank, but it's where the animals came from and what happened to some of them that has the sheriff's office involved.
Peacocks, bunnies and chickens were turned loose in the school - the animals were stolen and some of them were killed. Mason seniors graduate saturday, but several seniors are being punished, they won't be welcome to walk with their classmates.
One student admits to helping steal two peacocks from Tim Branham's property. One is missing, the other was found, tied up with broken legs and is in such poor shape Branham had to put it down Wednesday night. Some rabbits were also killed in the pulling off the prank. The seniors may be charged with theft and animal cruelty.
"It's someone's personal property, and when I go into your property and take your animals, again, it's invading your privacy and your domain. Some things are fun, but you're stealing somebody's enjoyment," said Sheriff Tom Ariss.
Branham says he's out more than enjoyment. He says the stolen animals and cages add up to at least $1,500.
The sheriff says after interviewing all the students involved and the animal owner, then criminal charges will likely follow.
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