What The Hell Were You Thinking!?!  I assume that I'm like most people, in that I have a soft spot for animals.  When I hear of someone or see someone abusing animal, I get infuriated.  It's senseless and uncalled for.  What comes to mind for me is former National Football League Quarterback Michael Vick and his infamous dog fighting ring.  At the height of the oil boom in North Dakota, we actually had a rash of dog disappearances that were traced back to dog fighting rings.  For me, there's a special place in Hell for people like that.  Dog fighting rings are an extreme scenario, but what about animal abuse that may seem a bit more innocuous?

According to North Dakota Game & Fish and a story reported by KX News, there's a new form of animal abuse that has popped up and while it seems benign, it's still abuse.  That brings us to today's SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Vandals have found a new canvas to graffiti: turtles, according to a Minot woman.  She snapped two pictures of the spray-painted turtle that she found on North Hill, and shared them to the Minot Whiners and Complainers Facebook page.

KX News reached out to a conservation biologist from North Dakota Game and Fish who spoke about the dangers of painting turtles.

“Changing the color, the shell itself is camouflage, it’s kind of a blue-green and black kind of mix and really blends into the vegetation, the aquatic vegetation that they live in. Changing that color makes them stand out more and more vulnerable to predators,” said Patrick Isakson, conservation biologist with North Dakota Game and Fish.

Isakson says if you see a turtle that has been spray painted, leave it alone because you could do more damage to it if you take the turtle home because you are exposing it to pets or diseases it normally wouldn’t come in contact with in the wild.

Bottom line, we all enjoy living in North Dakota and much of the reason is due to the fact that we enjoy the wildlife, which are an integral part of our states scenic landscape.  When you see wild life, enjoy it, but leave it alone!  Don't screw with it, don't touch it, don't abuse it and if you're visiting North Dakota, PLEASE don't pet the Buffalo...SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!