A Pennsylvania dog was charged with one count of first degree murder following the death of Spring prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil. The incident was subsequent to the groundhog’s upbeat Winter 2016 forecast.
Rye Halow, daughter of Mr. Bash Halow, of Wyalusing, Pa was taken into custody by local authorities shortly after 7am EST. Before squad card doors closed, Rye Halow boasted of her own guilt. “So what if I killed that little bastard? Been watching him duck in and out of holes for most of the year. Now he hands me this early spring business when we all know full well that we’ll be hunting Easter eggs in our ski coats and mittens!? He’s lucky I didn’t eat his wife and kids. The jerk.”
Possibly Sparked By Groundhog’s Early Spring Forecast
Phil emerged from his home at sunrise, February 2nd, looked around, saw no shadow, nibbled on the neighbor’s over-wintering Kale, and then ducked below the surface again. News reports flashed around the world announcing the event and the subsequent positive winter outlook.
According to eyewitness, Bashore Halow, Rye Halow, asleep in her father’s bed, looked up from beneath the covers and watched the weather forecast unfold. Says Halow, “She woke up, looked at the news, and a weird look came over her face. I can’t describe it. Her eyes were fixed on the screen and Punxsutawney Phil. She stared at him intently, licked her lips, then got up and trotted to the door to be let out. The next thing I heard was the sound of police sirens and orders to ‘stop or I’ll shoot’. Our family is asking that the media respect our privacy in this very difficult time.”
” The sun was blazing overhead and that little rodent didn’t see his shadow? Cut me a break. This guy makes Sam Champion look like the Rain Maker.” Rye Halow during paw printing at the Wyalusing Police Station.
District Attorney Will Pursue ‘Full Extent of the Law’
District Attorney Carl Habermeyer happened to be at the Punxsutawney event and watched the entire ordeal unfold before his eyes. “I was right there and as far as I’m concerned the whole thing is open and shut. The district will prosecute under the full extent of the law.” He then added a more conciliatory note, “Everybody finds Feb 2nd stressful. ‘Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?’ ‘Can my family and I take another 6 weeks of snow and cold?’ It affects us all, but you can’t have people running around grabbing newscasters by the back of the head, shaking them, and snapping their necks. That’s just not right.”
A History Of Mental Imbalance
“There has been some concern about her mental faculties in the past,” says the dog’s long-time veterinarian Howard Gittleman. “I don’t think I’m violating any patient medical rights by acknowledging information that’s been on the Internet for years now. There was that stick business that was leaked to Youtube some time ago. There were signs as early as 6 months, that something might be wrong.”
The ‘incident’ Doctor Gittelman refers to is Ms. Halow’s presumed obsession with sticks as demonstrated in this YouTube video that went viral some time ago.
Mr. Phil Still Officially ‘Missing’
The corpse of Mr. Punxsutawney has yet to be found. “After the suspect killed him, she trotted off into the field with his lifeless body,” said sergeant Alexis Pemberly of the Wyalusing Town Police. She continued, “We believe he may be buried in Mr. Halow’s asparagus patch, but we’re waiting for forensics to provide us with more information. And of course, if Mr. Phil was correct and the Spring is early, we’ll want to get that body out of there before Mr. Halow starts his harvest.”
Arrest Rocks Halow Tassava Consulting
News of Rye Halow’s arrest has been especially difficult for Halow Tassava Consulting, a firm for which Ms. Halow has served as mascot for 3 years. “At this point, we’re taking it day by day,” said Brenda Tassava, partner with Halow Tassava and media spokesperson for the firm. “Clearly she can’t remain an icon of animal welfare and health if she’s going around shaking groundhogs to death.”
A Checkered Past
This is not the first time Rye Halow has been embroiled in an animal welfare issue. In 2013, 14 and 15 reports swirled around the Wyalusing Area that dog was involved in a variety of animal cruelty cases including stomping the guts out of a field mouse, eating a frog, swallowing a nest of baby birds and chasing a cat. When asked whether or not allegations of Rye’s previous acts of animal cruelty were true, Tassava waved off the question, “I’m not going to engage in any kind of speculation. I can’t make any comments about that at this time.”
Miss Rye Halow is scheduled to be arraigned February 8th and the Bradford County Courthouse.
Funeral arrangements for P. Phil will be published as the information becomes available.