Lakeview restaurant owner arrested for shooting possum

Lakeview restaurant owner arrested for shooting possum

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Lakeview restaurant owner jailed for shooting a possum last week will have his day in court in October.

Mark Schenck, 68, isn't talking much about the incident, but others are.

"Somebody called me Monday evening saying Mark was getting arrested about shooting a possum in the alley," said Shawn Toups, co-owner of Lakeview Harbor Restaurant.

His partner, Schenck, made headlines for allegedly gunning down a pesky possum with a pistol after last Thursday after midnight. He told investigators that the animal was foaming at the mouth. Toups said the restaurant was closed at the time.

Restaurant patron Bob Buckley was puzzled as to why Schenck was arrested.

"He said he was foaming at the mouth, and if he was foaming at the mouth, and if he had rabies, shooting was the right thing to do," Buckley said.

Police picked Schenck up Monday on a cruelty to animals charge and illegal use of a weapon.

Amanda Pumilia is the Humane Law Enforcement Manager for the SPCA.

"All living creatures deserve a right to live and not be harmed," she said. "So if this animal was shot being a possum in a back yard, it was murdered, for lack of a better word."

"They have pretty sharp teeth and they don't respect people's rights, so why should people respect them?" Buckley said.

The SPCA says it's best to call their offices when an animal is a nuisance or causes a disturbance.

"This gentleman was claiming the possum was foaming at the mouth and charging at him. We should have been contacted to pick up the animal to test it for rabies," Pumilia said.

According to the National Humane Society, possums are not aggressive - their open-mouthed defensive hissing just makes them appear that way.

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