Pet squirrel defends home against burglary

This Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017 image from video provided by KIVI-TV shows an indoor pet, a squirrel named Joey in Meridian, Idaho. Police said the squirrel has thwarted a burglary attempt. The Meridian Police Department said a juvenile entered the home last week and told police after later being arrested that the squirrel attacked him when he tried to break into a gun safe. (KIVI-TV via AP)

MERIDIAN, Idaho (AP) — A pet squirrel named Joey prevented a burglary attempt in Idaho last week by scratching the teen suspect when he tried to break into a gun safe, police said.

The unidentified teenager told officers that the squirrel’s attack “scared him, obviously, because he wasn’t expecting to have, you know, a squirrel come flying out of nowhere at him,” said Officer Ashley Turner of the police department in Meridian, a Boise suburb. “So basically he said he took what he could and left as fast as he could.”

The squirrel’s owner, Adam Pearl, said Joey has lived in his house for about six months after he was found in a flower garden by a friend’s daughter when he was about a week old.

He said Joey’s eyes were still closed, and they set an alarm to feed him every two hours.

“His temperament is kind of like a cat,” Pearl said. “When he wants attention, he’ll run up to you and climb up your leg.”

Joey eats nuts and greens, and spinach is his favorite. He buries some of the nuts in houseplants inside Pearl’s house and uses a litterbox.

“He trained himself,” Pearl said.

Joey’s reward for his vigilance were Whoppers, the squirrel’s favorite candy.

Pearl had planned to release Joey into his backyard in the spring.

“But now, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m kind of torn.”

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