Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

June 2010 Archives

The Ransom of Jonas: 3 Zoo Animals Stolen and Recovered

Great literature is great not because it is long, (Tolstoy) or filled to the brim with intricate plots and characters (Dickens), but because it tells a story we can recognize, again and again. So, kindly read along as we go on the newest version of the O. Henry story, The Ransom of Red Chief.

As in the original, it all begins when the bad guys blow into town and kidnap the unsuspecting victim(s). In the version that took place starting last week, the victims were a "delightful" Bengal Tiger named Jonas and two happy-go-lucky camels called Todd and Sean. Well true, we don't actually know if they were happy-go-lucky, but let's assume for purposes of poetic license.

The Naked City: Naked Cowboy v. Naked Cowgirl

Friends, let us file this case under the heading of: Only In New York. For only in the Big Apple would you find the comic combination of public (semi) nudity, sophisticated legal wrangling and generally outlandish behavior. Who could be the source of such behavior? Why, only little 'ol New York gem, the Naked Cowboy and his unlicensed nemesis, the Naked Cowgirl.

The Naked Cowboy, also known by his given name, Robert Burck, has delighted New Yorkers and tourists alike for years with his performance art of playing acoustic guitar in mid-town Manhattan clad only in cowboy boots, hat and underwear. But Cowboy Burck is no redneck rube, no sir. He has trademarked and franchised his act, at least according to the cease and desist letter the New York Post reports he sent to Naked Cowgirl, Sandy Kane.

Herding Cats: One Vermont Town is Going to Try

Written testimony offered by a cat. That is just the beginning of the feline folly that ensued last week when the Barre, Vt. city council seriously considered authoring a leash law for, that is correct, the town's cats. It all began when the council began reviewing its animal and leash laws with an eye to overhauling them. The legal "claws" causing concern? According to an ordinance passed in 1973, "No owner or keeper of an animal shall allow his, theirs or its animal to run at large."

What would be the purpose of the restraining the free-roaming felines of Barre? According a report by the AP, council members have received numerous reports of carousing kitties using gardens as litter boxes and the like. Not to mention the more widespread problem of murder. "Scientists estimate that free-roaming cats kill hundreds of millions of birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians each year," says the Virginia-based American Bird Conservancy, which runs a "Cats Indoors!" campaign.