A Spokane Valley woman has been charged with electrocuting squirrels that tried to steal walnuts from her backyard tree. Mary J. Banks, 68, rigged up an electric fence and is alleged to have left the dead squirrels hanging from the fence to deter other squirrels from trying to get to the tree.
According to the Seattle Times, the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) stated Banks electrocuted nine squirrels. People in the community passing by her backyard described the grim scene as “pretty much in plain sight” from the street.
Brendan Kidd is the attorney for Banks and regards the case as “ridiculous,” stating that the squirrels had been eating all of the woman’s walnuts she used in cooking and gives to friends. In 2016, Banks didn’t get a single walnut, and for the following year just a few. After rigging the electric fence – the kind ranchers use to keep their horse in corrals, in 2018, Banks enjoyed a bumper crop of walnuts. Kidd contends his client never wanted to kill the squirrels – just deter them.
Banks removed the electric fence after SCRAPS investigated and is alleged to have told the officer she would cut down the tree rather than have the squirrels eat the walnuts.
In Spokane, animal cruelty is a felony. If found guilty of all nine counts, Banks could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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