WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGERY
EAST FERRIS, Ont. — Maryanne Saunders is still traumatized by what she saw hanging in her neighbour's tree earlier this week.
As she stepped out of her car she noticed something furry. It immediately caught her attention.
“Once I realized what it was I screamed, 'Oh my God. What the hell is this?' ” she said Wednesday. “There were chipmunks with homemade nooses wrapped around their necks hanging from tree branches.”
And they weren't alone.
Among the trees were large-sized army dolls handing from the branches, too.
Saunders said some of the tiny critters were hanging from the tree by their necks and others from their feet.
“It's so sad. I'm horrified and devastated,” she said. “We're animal lovers.”
Saunders said she enjoys feeding the wildlife at her rural home on Taillefer Road. Most of the visitors in her yard are chipmunks, squirrels and deer and her two-and-a-half-year-old grandson takes great pleasure out of the experience of handing out peanuts and deer feed.
But not everyone in the neighbourhood agrees with feeding wild animals.
Saunders said she was told several times by a neighbour to stop feeding the chipmunks, because he doesn't like them and considers them nuisance animals.
She said she knew his hatred towards the critters, but never imagined it would lead to this.
“He made a point to hang them on a tree located in between our driveways on the property line. He deliberately put them there so I would see them,” Saunders said. “I'm just so thankful my grandson wasn't around. He would have been devastated.”
Saunders contacted the Township of East Ferris, and East Ferris animal control officer Kathy Jeanneault to log a formal complaint.
Jeanneault said she was aware of the complaint, but she couldn't comment further.
“What I can say is the situation is under investigation.”
Daryl Vaillancourt, executive director of the North Bay Humane Society, said they received a report of dead squirrels hanging in a tree.
“We attended the home and found five dead squirrels,” he said. “I can't really comment any further at this time.”
Vaillancourt said the humane society has opened up an investigation and would appreciate any information from the public pertaining to this case by calling 705-474-1251.