Performing the duties of a humane officer can be rewarding and sometimes plain old weird. I was called for assistance to remove animals from an apartment by the HPD no other details were available at the time of dispatch. I thought it might be an eviction or abandonment case, was I wrong about that. I was to meet with an HPD detective.
Once on scene I made contact with the detective for more details. He informed me there had been a suicide in the apartment that there were birds, cats, mice and fish to be removed and transported to the humane society. Before we go to the apartment he said I think you should see this then handed me a spiral notebook page in a ziplock bag. It was the suicide note explaining why the deceased lady was killing herself with the last sentence stating she was going to be with the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler.
Dam, I thought, with a note like that this is going to be a good one. I put on my coveralls and rubber boots. The detective lead me to the apartment door, he unlocked the door then asked me if I had any issues with dead bodies. I asked if she was still in there, no he said. I told him I had been a paramedic dead bodies never bother me no matter what state it is in. He asked me if I could smell it yet. Just about that time I did, the unmistakable smell of a dead human.
He lead me into the apartment a few steps explained the scene, told me to look for a firearm and to notify him if one was found. No problem I told him then proceeded to assess the scene to decide how to handle the situation. The kitchen was on the left with a counter connecting it to the living room. To the right was the bathroom and the bedroom with a walk in closet. One of my first observations was the stream of body fluids that was coming from the closet accumulating in a large mass on the bedroom terrazzo floor.
Also of note was what looked like footprints and slide prints in the mass of body fluids. I said to the detective it looks like somebody tried to run or almost fell in the fluid mass. He laughed at what I said then told me that the crew moving the body had fled the closet when a cat had emerged from under part of her body. It had scared them and they ran. Said they thought she had come back to life. That gave me something to laugh about. The detective said there was no reason for him to be there he would wait in his car.
I had no idea how many animals were in the apartment. The birds, the mice and fish were already contained so I’d leave them for last. I wanted to catch the cats since they could escape if a door or window was opened. I was able to catch 7 cats throughout the apartment. As I was searching for the cats I noticed all of the Nazi posters, videos, flags and other paraphernalia. That’s really strange I thought the lady who had killed herself was Hispanic.
Finally satisfied I’ve captured all the cats I head to the bedroom where the birdcages are hanging in front of a window next to the bed. As I go to remove the first cage I see two little cards with names on them. One says, “Hitler, my Fuhrer” the other says “Eva Braun”. What the hell I said to myself. As I remove the second cage there are two more cards on there marked “Heinrich Himmler” and “Hermann Goring”. Now it’s getting weird I’m thinking. I put the birds in the transport then came back for the mice and fish.
I took a few minutes outside to get some fresh air. The smell of dead humans doesn’t bother me but it was nice to not be breathing it constantly. I took the time to think how I’d remove the mice yet keep them from escaping. After a few minutes I went back inside. I looked over the multiple mouse cages there then something creepy struck me.
All of the cages were lined up in two rows with interconnecting tunnels with a single cage at one end. Fish bowls at the four corners. It had suddenly dawned on me how this looked like an overhead view of a concentration camp. Then I though the birds must have been the Nazi leaders, the cats the SS and the mice all of those who had been sent to the concentration camps, Siamese fighting fish the camp overseers or guards. It rose the hair on my arms to think about. I quickly gathered up the mice into a single cage then put them and the fish into the transport.
That was all I had to do there. All the animals were accounted for as far as I could tell it was time to leave. That was the weirdest animal welfare call I can remember. A Hispanic Nazi woman who killed herself to be with the Fuhrer. I would have never believed it had I not been there to see it. -13