Alabama investigators are currently searching for a man who allegedly kept an “attack squirrel” inside his apartment and fed the caged animal methamphetamine in order to maintain its aggressive behavior.
Since Mickey Paulk’s Athens apartment was searched on Monday morning, the caged squirrel has been released into the wild, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office’s Public Information Officer Stephen Young confirms to PEOPLE.
According to Young, officers responded to a report on Monday at approximately 8:30 a.m. that Paulk, 35, was allegedly keeping an “attack squirrel” caged inside his home and feeding it meth.
At this time, it is unclear how or why Paulk allegedly kept the wild animal inside his apartment.
After obtaining a search warrant, Young says animal control and narcotics officers searched the home, located in the 21000 block of Piney Chapel Road, where they seized a number of illegal items, including the squirrel, meth, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and body armor.
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Officers with the Alabama Game and Fish Division of the Department of Conservation were also contacted to advise on the situation and recommended releasing the squirrel, according to Young.
At the time of the search warrant, Ronnie Reynolds of Ardmore was inside the apartment, but Paulk was nowhere to be found.
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Reynolds, 37, was taken into custody and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and loitering at a known drug house. He was later released from Limestone County Jail on $4,000 bond, Young confirms.
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Paulk, meanwhile, is still on the run and is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Tuesday, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office announced on their Facebook that the squirrel had been safely released into the wild, per the suggestion of the Alabama Game and Fish Division of the Department of Conservation.
“The squirrel was released into a wooded area on the advice of Game and Fish wardens. It ran into the woods and did not attack the deputies who released it,” officials at the Sheriff’s Office wrote.
According to Young, there was no safe way to test the aggressive squirrel for meth. He also noted that officers with the Game and Fish Division confirmed it is illegal to own a pet squirrel.
Anyone with information on Paulk’s whereabouts is asked to call the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office at (256) 232-0111.