Press-Republican

Columns

August 25, 2013

Great Puppy Caper a story for the ages

Over the years, this newspaper has covered numerous stories that held the public’s attention over a period of days, even weeks.

Murders. Scandals. Floods. Manhunts. The closing of the Air Force Base. The Ice Storm. Friendly visits from the “reverend” Fred Phelps. The tragic departure of Arby’s Roast Beef from Plattsburgh in the mid-’90s.

Few stories, though, have ever generated the furor and the interest of the current Great Puppy Caper.

Two dozen puppies allegedly mistreated, and then, without question, whisked away and abandoned in a variety of spots around the region.

The alleged perpetrator was soon uncovered, and the tiny canines began to reappear, alone or in pairs or in small groups. Sick, hungry, pathetic, helpless.

Ordinary citizens organized their own search parties to find any remaining survivors. Many donated to pay for the enormous veterinary bills. Dozens — who, it should be noted, could have adopted a dog at any time during the past 10 years — applied to adopt these particular dogs.

Through it all, people have continued to read — whole stories, not just the headlines this time. In fact, they keep demanding more.

There isn’t anyone associated with the newspaper, from the publisher to the lowliest employee (me), who hasn’t be pestered on the street or over the phone or in the checkout line at Target for some new tidbit of updated information on the condition or the whereabouts of the puppies.

People, if we find another puppy, or if we discover that a puppy is now leading a marauding band of wolves against local alpaca farmers, or if we uncover that a puppy was captured and savagely beaten by Sasquatch, we will immediately tweet it. Promise.

Some people called every day for the first week to find out if there was more information that wasn’t printed in that morning’s paper. Others called Speakout to rant and rave, using language too offensive for us to print, or in some cases for us to even comprehend.

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