Last Saturday, I was in the Sentinel office working on some stories when I heard a call come over the police scanner involving a duck. My ears immediately perked up, and I listened intently to a call about a woman apparently throwing a duck to the ground. My interest was clearly piqued.
Details were still few at the time, but as it turned out, a woman was, in fact, arrested for being drunk, refusing to leave a Santa Cruz business and throwing a duck around. This bizarre story seems to have piqued the interest of quite a few people around here, judging by how many web hits the original story got. What I didn’t include in the original story was that the officer sent to the scene was a K-9 officer, and he had his police dog in the back of his vehicle. This led to some confusion about how to transport the duck, seeing as, well, dog + duck = bad news.
Animal abuse is by no means funny, ever. However, the story of a woman drunk and throwing around a pet duck sounds like something that should be in the Onion, not actually happening here in this fair city. It was hard for me to believe it was real at first.
The fortunate thing of this situation is that the duck — which apparently the suspect, Michelle Ann Love, considers to be her pet — does not appear to have suffered injuries and will be okay. As of Tuesday, the duck is still in the custody of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. I’ll hopefully have an update on its condition soon.
In the mean time, I think this whole story can really be boiled down to what Sgt. Joe Clarke of the Sheriff’s department said about the situation. Clarke said he’s seen Love walking the duck in East Cliff Drive several times and she’s somewhat of a fixture in the Pleasure Point area.
“But I guess she got carried away,” he said. “You can do a lot of things, but you can’t beat a duck.”
Aren’t those words to live by? I like it as a new city motto. Santa Cruz: where you can do a lot of things, but you can’t beat a duck.