Blotter Tales

Calls about nuisance animals keep police busy

Traffic waits for a farmer herding his cows on the road through Oviedo in Pedernales province.
Patricia Borns
No, this was not the scene on Whitney Street in Northborough, but you get the picture.

Every day, police respond to reports of all sorts of events and non-events, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.


Police get animal-related calls every day, and animal control officers stand ready to deal with all sorts of critters, from cows to chipmunks.

On the morning of May 11, police in Northborough were alerted about cows on Whitney Street. The animal control officer was notified, and later noted in the log entry that the animals had crossed the town line into Berlin. But less than a half-hour later, Northborough police got another call about the animals, this time regarding a bull “running up and down the aqueduct” on Whitney Street. Again, the animal control officer was summoned.

At 8:45 a.m. June 7, Stow police received a complaint from a woman about a “problem with woodchucks in her yard.” The animal control officer was notified.


At 1:01 p.m. June 10, Walpole police got a call from a woman “regarding an issue with her neighbor over chipmunks.” It’s unclear what the issue was, but an officer spoke to all involved and, presumably, was able to resolve the matter.

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At 2:02 p.m. June 13, Stow police got a call from a woman who reported finding a snake “that is larger than normal” in her basement.

On the afternoon of June 25, Bridgewater police received a complaint about a stray cat refusing to leave a backyard where people were hosting a children’s party. There was no word on whether the authorities were able to persuade the kitty to leave the soiree.

Later on the same day, at 11:29 p.m., Bridgewater got received a report of two horses running loose. Police later reported the horses were secured but they were unable to locate their owners.

On June 30, Northborough police received yet another complaint about loose cows in the area of Rice Avenue. Police issued a citation to the animals’ owner. It was not immediately known whether these were the same cows as those seen on Whitney Street on May 11.



At 7:27 p.m. July 1, State Police transferred a 911 mis-dial that they received 16 times to Milford police, because the caller was a 6-year-old girl who lives in that town. The Milford dispatcher’s log entry is worth two chuckles: “I was able to speak with her briefly and she stated she just wanted to play and refused to give the phone to her parents.”


At 2:25 June 28, a man walked into the Marblehead police station and reported he had received a check for $8.5 million from a sweepstakes. Enclosed with the so-called prize was a document requesting immediate payment of $850 for fees, processing, and validation. Police noted the check was from “Global Sweepstakes Payout Services” and that the man believed it was a fraud. We think so, too. The Federal Trade Commission says legitimate sweepstakes never ask you to pay a fee. According to the FTC, “if you have to pay, it’s not a prize.”


On May 15, a Watertown man told police he’d been a victim of a rental scam. The man said he found an online ad on Craigslist for an apartment in Long Beach, Calif., and contacted the rental agent, who asked him to send a $300 deposit. The man asked a friend who lives in California to swing by the property and speak to the owner, who said the apartment was not available and he never advertised it for rent. The Long Beach Police Department is investigating.


At about 3 p.m. June 17, Bridgewater police received a report of a parent being “out of control” at the soccer fields. The parent was told not to come back for the remainder of the weekend.

At 8:48 p.m. June 21, Bridgewater police got a call about a man dressed in black walking in the woods and screaming. Police spoke to the black-clad character and reported he was a “juvenile male attempting to scare children.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.