Neighbors are reacting to the bizarre turn of events in the story of an "attack squirrel" that may be addicted to meth.
Mickey Paulk, the man accused of keeping the squirrel as a pet, is wanted on drug charges. In a video he posted on Facebook, Paulk claims to have been reunited with his squirrel after deputies released it into the wild.
WAAY 31 learned where the police investigation stands and what Paulk’s neighbors are saying about the video he posted.
“A squirrel on meth. That scares the fire out of me! Poor squirrel," Billy Carruth, Jr. said. "What would you do if he had done your dog like that? Oh goodness, he couldn’t handle it.”
“Welcome to the South, man. We’ve got squirrels on meth," Charles McFarland added. "Welcome to the South."
A community is still in disbelief after hearing one of their neighbors may have fed a pet squirrel meth to keep it aggressive.
“Man, what an idiot! I wouldn’t want to be around a squirrel that wasn’t on meth—much less, on meth! A squirrel is dangerous. On meth? I wouldn’t want a part of that," Carruth said. "Can you imagine what that sucker would look like? Crazy! It would eat you up.”
Limestone County deputies are still looking for Mickey Paulk after getting a tip about the meth-addicted squirrel. They found a squirrel in a cage, but they didn't test it for meth. Instead, they released it.
After word spread about the squirrel, Paulk posted a video on Facebook, claiming he never gave the animal meth.
“You can’t give squirrels meth. It would kill them," Paulk said in the video. "I’m pretty sure. I’ve never tried it.”
Paulk said he went back to the home and found the squirrel in a tree after deputies released it. He said the squirrel is ten months old and has never been outside before.
Neighbors wonder if Paulk is the one on drugs.
“I think the guy is illiterate. He’s not thinking all the way clearly. He must be on something," Carruth said.
They want him arrested soon.
“To torture a small animal like that, he should face the music, whatever is coming to him," McFarland said.
Carruth wants the squirrel to get away from Paulk for good.
“The squirrel needs to be turned loose in the wild again and hope he doesn’t kill a bunch or other squirrels," he said.
Neighbors hope nothing like this ever happens in their neighborhood again.
“It’s past the funny. The funny is over with," Carruth said. "If he was doing that to that squirrel or any dog or any kind of animal, it’s unacceptable."
WAAY 31 learned more about Paulk and his criminal history.
“It’s not the first time we’ve dealt with him," Limestone County Deputy Stephen Young said.
When we asked the Limestone County Sheriff's Office what they thought about the video Paulk posted on Facebook, they said they didn't feel the need to respond to it.
“Our job as law enforcement officers is not to engage in a public forum or debate about things that may or may not have happened, or may or may not happen in the future," Young said. "As long as he’s out and about, he’s free to talk to whoever he wants, just as you and I are.”
In his video on Facebook, Paulk claims he no longer lives in the apartment where deputies found drugs and the squirrel, so he says they can’t get him for drug possession.
However, he admits in the video that he still had a few belongings at the apartment, including his beloved pet squirrel.
“Warrants are obtained on probable cause, not hearsay. You have to meet a certain standard for a judge to sign an arrest warrant," Young said. "They have to present enough evidence that the person is doing or has done what that officer or investigator is saying they’ve done.”
WAAY 31 learned this is not the first time Limestone County deputies have dealt with this man.
“Paulk’s been here a number of times," Young said.
Between 2001 and 2019, Paulk was booked into the Limestone County Jail 28 times.
His list of charges include robbery, burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, domestic violence, reckless endangerment, and drug charges.
After hearing this list, and hearing about the possible meth-addicted squirrel, some of Paulk’s neighbors said there’s no point in him hiding out.
“If the sheriff in this county is looking for him, he might as well come on in. Turn himself in, because it’s over. He need not watch the calendar. Watch the clock, because these guys are going to get him," Carruth said. "This fella needs to be prosecuted to the fullest.”
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office says it won't charge Paulk with anything related to the squirrel, but wildlife agents might. Deputies are still actively searching and following leads on Paulk's whereabouts.
Stephen Young, a spokesperson with the sheriff's office, confirmed on Wednesday that Paulk called into a Florence radio station. Young says the station notified authorities about the call.