Environmental officials issued a warning they "never thought we'd have to say."

A shocking turn of events forced the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to issue a warning for the first time.

"Don't Paint" Squirrels In New York State

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The New York State DEC posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday that New York State residents shouldn't paint wild animals.

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"Never thought we'd have to say this but DON'T PAINT SQUIRRELS!," the DEC stated.

Why did the DEC announce this odd warning? Well, it stems from a recent arrest in the Hudson Valley.

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Putnam County SPCA: Upstate New York Man On Probation Caught Spray Painting Squirrels

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
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Last month, The Putnam County SPCA announced the arrest of 62-year-old Mark Kuhn of the Town of Patterson. The Putnam County man was accused of trapping and spray-painting squirrels.

Kuhn admitted to illegally trapping the animals on his property in Patterson, spraying them with apple red colored “Rust-Oleum Paint + Primer," and then releasing them at another location within the Town of Patterson, officials say.

After a short investigation, Kuhn was interviewed at his home and arrested. He was charged with three counts of poisoning or attempting to poison animals.

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The Putnam County SPCA also seized two traps from the home and a Rust-oleum spray can, allegedly used on the squirrels that were caught.

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
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Kuhn is on probation for an unrelated crime, officials say.

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