Town's Fundraiser Doubles as ... Squirrel Hunt?

Fire department's tradition isn't sitting well with animal fans

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2013 6:34 PM CST | Updated Feb 3, 2013 5:30 PM CST

(Newser) – A fire department in rural upstate New York has an unusual way of raising money to buy new gear—a "squirrel slam." Every year, the Holley department organizes a hunt, sells tickets, and hands out prizes for the best carcasses. ("Reds & grays only!!" says the rules.) This year, however, the squirrels have a little ammunition of their own in the form of social media, reports Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle. News of the Feb. 16 hunt is spreading quickly online, and opponents are trying to put a stop to it with petitions on Facebook and Change.org.

"Stop the mass slaughter," demands the latter petition, whose author is particularly incensed that kids as young as 12 can take part. A blogger at Psychology Today similarly complains of the "barbarism." The fire chief says he's been fielding calls from all over the world—even Britain's Daily Mail has weighed in with a story—but he insists the hunt will go on. In fact, almost all of the 700 tickets have sold already. Click for more on the "slam."

He is not amused.
He is not amused.   (Shutterstock)
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