Buddhists Free Seafood From Chinatown, Pets Not So Lucky

Written by Jill Colvin on . Posted in Crime Watch Our Town Downtown, Posts.

It’s been a crazy week for the city’s critters, from great escapes to abductions and death. We’ll start with the good news: On Sunday, a group of
Amitabha Buddhists hoping to boost their karma released a scale-raising $7000 worth of seafood into the polluted Passaic
in New
. The hundreds of frogs, eels and turtles were
purchased from Chinatown food shops and had likely been destined
for dinner plates. “When I pass by the fish market, I cry,” Ann Chin, one
member of the group, told the Herald News
of West Paterson
. “I tell people: ‘Stop killing them.’ Then: ‘Don’t eat
them.’ Then your heart goes to mercy.” But the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection is less than
with the Zen-ists Free Willy-style rescue mission. The department
is concerned that the foreign organisms could disrupt the river’s natural
ecosystem—if they even survive at all—and has threatened to fine the
perpetrators up to $1000 for releasing the wildlife without a permit. “We’re
dead-set against it. It’s even illegal to stock any kind of carp or goldfish in
New Jersey in a place with an
inlet or an outlet,” one DEP biologist said.

Meanwhile, in Long Island, burglars broke into the Parrots of the World pet store in Rockville
and made off with 45
high-priced parrots worth an estimated $60,000
. The store’s owner, Marc Morrone, happens to be a regular
on Martha Stewart’s TV and radio shows, where he serves as an animal-care
expert. The thieves even seem to have ruffled the feathers of the bigwig
herself. “She called me this morning,” Morrone told the Post. “She was hysterical like I was.” The parrots, he said,
require special food and care and could die if they become overstressed. Now,
we don’t want to speculate, but that does lead you to wonder whether Chin also cries
every time she passes by a pet store, doesn’t it? We’ll have to keep our eyes
peeled for pricey parrots flying around Jersey. There
could be rewards.

Finally, in even sadder news, authorities stumbled upon 23 dead dogs and cats in the garage of
a $3 million mansion in Saddle River, New
. Some of the rotting animals, they said, had
been dead for more than a year. Inside, they found 62 live cats and six dogs
living in feces and on floors with pet food reportedly piled as high as ten
inches in spots. The homeowners could face animal cruelty charges. Maybe the
Buddhists should have goner after the puppies instead.

Photo courtesy of jmax@flickr on Flickr