FAYETTEVILLE, NC — A herd of dependents were found in the Fayetteville Harris Teeter early Sunday morning, having escaped from the confines of Fort Bragg.
“It’s a combination of two things,” said Cumberland County Sheriff Earl R. Butler. “Their normal food source is closed and the post isn’t repairing the fence line like they should. Both are on account of ongoing problems stemming from the government shutdown.”
The Sheriff’s Department is trained to respond to dependents who wander into urban areas, but nobody can remember an incident of this scale.
“The environment changes and they don’t know what to do. All they know is there’s no food where there used to be, so they go out searching for more,” said Dr. Evan Farren, a veterinarian specializing in dependents. “They tend to have large litters of children and get a little spooked when processed food is scarce, even if their regular habits are altered for just a few hours.”
Security footage caught the first dependent crashing through an exterior plate glass window. Clearly startled, the dependent takes out a cell phone and begins to wander, looking for a way out. She is joined by a few curious dependents attracted by the scent of drama. Before long, the whole herd is inside the store foraging.
Sheriff’s deputies were able to chase the dependents from the store using Coach purses and Applebee’s coupons as bait. One stubborn dependent slipped through deputies’ hands until a cardboard cutout of her deployed spouse was used to trick her into running out of the store into the open.
Butler is asking for the public’s help until the sequester is over. “Do not approach any dependents you see on the street. They may be carrying diseases such as Jodyitus or TDY Syndrome. Don’t feed them or pretend to listen to their blabbering. Just walk away and call us if they become a nuisance.”
Harris Teeter employees are assessing the damage caused by the dependents. Nothing in the produce section was touched, but the snack and chips aisle is considered “a total loss”.