As many have said before, squirrels are just rats with bushy tails. Which makes them so much cuter, and thus worthy of our love and protection! After a series of squirrel maulings in Washington Square park by one woman's two dogs, squirrel fans are saying people need to stand up for the critters' rights. One Brooklyn resident said, "[The squirrels] are so friendly compared to France. And they pose for pictures. You can't just come and kill them." Think of the pictures!

Witnesses to the violence allegedly followed the woman in question to her home, and accused her of doing nothing while her unleashed dogs ran wild. One reader tells us the suspected owner's dogs have "attacked a number of dogs at the Leroy Street dog run," and that she doesn't pick up after her dogs. And her dogs apparently messed with the wrong squirrels, as the creatures in Washington Square Park are well loved. The park is home to Susan Goren, dubbed "The Squirrel Whisperer." She reportedly spends about $150 a month feeding the park's squirrels, and has nursed some baby squirrels to health. She said of dog violence, “There is a leash law for a reason. A squirrel is just as sentient a being as a dog or a cat."

However, others say that the maulings don't merit all this attention. One park-goer said, "Squirrel police? You've got to be kidding me. I don't think it's a good thing, [the dog owner] doing that, but it seems a little silly to have squirrel police. What a waste of money." And maybe somebody should start thinking of the dogs; in 2005, a group of black squirrels bit a dog to death in Russia. Perhaps our friendly grey squirrels are just waiting for the right moment to strike.