ISSUE 35

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 With the increase of K-9 units, the police have been investigating the possible integration of other animals into special operations units. While the results have been varied, it could be revolutionary, like sporks or fascist dictatorship or chocolate milk.
 Team 7: Bear Unit was a straight fifty-fifty success-failure ratio. No one screws with any police officer who’s trying to convince Officer Big Paw Jr. to leave the leg of the last arrested criminal in the cruiser. Why yes Officer, I do sell a lot of heroin to children. In fact, here it is. And a list of my accomplices. [Whispers] Please, don’t leave me with the bear.
 There were problems. Well, no shit there were problems, it’s nine-hundred-pounds of claws and teeth with a very short tolerance for people who have barbequed recently. Strangely enough, the biggest complaint was the nauseating smell of dead fish that permeated officer’s cruisers. When told about this, Big Paw Jr. responded, RAWWWRRR, which was translated to WHY WON’T YOU LET ME LIVE MY LIFE? 
 This is not to mention that every time Officer Big Paw Jr. investigated a noise disturbance, he rooted through the offender’s trash for leftover food and occasionally hibernated in the basement for six months.
 Unfortunately, the police unit had to release Officer Big Paw Jr., mostly due to the fact that it was increasingly difficult to negotiate him into a government-issued Chevy Volt. And while it’s hard to push past thirty in a Volt with a vegetarian driving, add a bear, a slight incline, and enough electric horsepower to charge an iPhone, and the police are lucky to catch a fat kid pushing a scooter.
 Big Paw Jr. was released into the wild, but according to Jeremy’s mom, he is now a cart collector at a local Wal-Mart.
  Officer Snugaboo, a calico cat from West Virginia, was the worst failure of the program due to her fascination with water dripping from faucets and her abandonment of the unit to go sleep in the sun. Never once did Snugaboo fill out the proper paperwork, and she continually snuck catnip from the evidence locker. Most officers didn’t know why catnip was there in the first place, but when they looked it up, it turned out to be a schedule one controlled substance.
  Over in the constrictor unit, Officer Slither also caused problems when the sun came out and his body temperature warmed. Besides consuming and taking six months to digest a pig, Officer Slither executed Officer Rooster due to a paperwork mix-up that placed them in the same unit. Officer Slither expressed no remorse and reportedly slept for twenty hours following the murder. The police thought about further investigation but then decided against it because Officer Rooster was an ass.  
 Officer Stomp, an African bush elephant, was more interested in mourning dead relatives and tracking down ivory dealers than anything else. She also expressed the desire for a watering hole free of lions, which didn’t make any sense. While an expert at pinpointing bombs and drugs located in airports, the sheer amount of peanuts required to convince Officer Stomp to do anything made her continued employment unfeasible.
 Several species of bird were integrated into the program, mostly because someone left a couple of McDonald’s French fries outside the police station, and the main entrance slid open at the right time, and they couldn’t find their way out of the building. For the most part they were given office positions and filled out paperwork, performed background checks, and crapped on Candice’s stapler… because Candice deserved it.
  Due to budget cuts eliminating human 911 operators, several promising birds were tasked with answering the lines. City council members thought the twittering would soothe victims of domestic abuse and soon-to-be murder fatalities. The amount of murders increased, according to studies after the fact, but so did cheerful murder victims.
 For the most part, special ops animals ended up cynical, out of touch with regular citizens, and completely unable to tell the difference between a DUI and a DWI. And that’s when the animals decided to return to their native lands, where murder and crapping wherever is just how the world works, where hygiene and fashion are optional, and where the only investigation is whether dead deer and salmon would go well with nineteen pounds of blueberries. In the wild, the answer is always yes.
   
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