Westminster family's duck is stolen at Post Office


WESTMINSTER -- Mary Lou Fogg thought she had suppressed the death of her most beloved childhood animals.

As a youngster growing up in Westminster, she became fond of two ducks that lived on her father's farm and considered them her pets. She was heartbroken to come home from school one day and learn her father had had the ducks slaughtered. It took her a long time to be at peace with what happened, and those terrible memories came flooding back on June 9.

Fogg said a family member was picking up mail at the Westminster Post Office and brought Squeaky, the family's pet duck, along for the trip. But Fogg told the Reformer a young female snatched up Squeaky and drove off with him, leaving her devastated.

"I'm just so upset about this. I haven't heard anything," Fogg said Monday. She said she is a senior citizen with serious health problems and physical pain disorders that are worsened by stress and Squeaky is one of her best friends. She mentioned the mallard duck with tan lines around his eyes and black feathers, enabled her to forget about her pain.

"This action of hers constitutes severe emotional abuse to me. (Whoever did this) needs to understand the impact of her actions, if that's even possible," she wrote to the Reformer. "This event has also caused me to start having angina (chest pains due to a blood flow shortage in the heart muscle) again."

Fogg, 63, said she called the Windham County Sheriff's Department and Deputy Trevor Dickerman is working the case. Dickerman told the Reformer there are no leads at this time but "we do have some stuff we're working on." He said he was made aware of the case at around 4:45 p.m. on June 9.

Fogg said her family bought Squeaky from the Tractor Supply Co. store in Walpole, N.H., in April, and the duck isn't even 3 months old yet. She thinks the woman who was seen stealing Squeaky may be a vigilante under the impression she could "free" the duck. But Fogg said Squeaky is not a wild duck and will die if let loose in the wilderness.

"He depends on people for his food. His wings were just growing. (His) feathers were starting to grow on his body and top edge of his wings and tail. He still had fluff on his back," Fogg wrote to the Reformer, adding that he did not yet have feathers on the bottom edge of his wings or the tips and, therefore, could not fly to escape predators. "His feathers are not fully developed with natural oils, so his body is not protected from this cold, wet weather. If he is still alive he will starve and get ill and die. No wild mother duck is going to magically come along and take him in and teach him survival skills."

Fogg recalled for the Reformer her favorite things Squeaky would do, which included drinking from her cats' water dispenser, trying to eat her spaghetti and pecking at the bathroom door whenever someone was taking a shower. She said the loss of Squeaky has brought back the pain of losing her two childhood ducks some 55 years ago.

Melissa Lohnes, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service's Northeast area, said the United States Postal Inspection Service -- the law enforcement arm of the USPS -- is not involved in this case. The agency typically investigates cases involving mail, the postal system or postal employees and is not taking part in the investigation because the duck was never in the custody of the USPS.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.


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