"I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement." ~Calvin Coolidge

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A rescue of the "squirrely" variety

Well after all these years I thought I had pretty much seen and done it all, guess not.

I got a message from the sub station to call a woman but I had no clue who it was. I was hesitant simply because the ex-wife has played this prank before to bait me into calling her so she could scream and curse at me. I called her despite my concern and was met with a very sweet older woman on the other end that sounded like she was in a panic. Ms. M told me that she found 2 baby {2 weeks old max} squirrel’s in her backyard. Ms. M said that she told her neighbor about the squirrel’s, but had no idea how to take care of them. Her neighbor told her that she heard about a policeman that was somehow involved in animal rescue and had a friend (Aza) that did squirrel rescue. Ms. M went to the sub station to attempt to locate me, but she could only describe me. The Community Service Officers told her that it sounded like me, thus we made contact.

I immediately called Aza, of course she called Ms. M, Ms. M told her that she had been feeding them regular milk, which is a big no-no, but bless her heart she didn’t know. Aza called me back, telling me that she was going to meet Ms. M at a location between the two of them. I met Aza, and Ms. M and was handed 2 barely alive squirrels that were both near death due to severe dehydration, hypothermia and boarder line starvation (according to Aza). She took them and immediately went into rescue mode. You have to know that she has been doing these types of rescues for a very long time and she is absolutely the best at what she does. She has a few stories about a couple of her rescues under the label Saving Grace on her blog. A lot of the cases she gets in are abused (just read about poor little Kaz) so she doesn't talk about it much ((Please be forewarned that Aza is passionate about what she does and because a number of her rescues (like Kaz) came from very abusive situations, she is incredibly descriptive and uses a number of “sentence enhancers” when relaying their stories)). Anyway, these lil guys needed help and needed it now! I went to get syringes to feed them, Aza went to get the nipples that fit on the end of a 1cc syringe and are as rare as a wooden nickel from a vet she used to work with. The rescue was underway! We lost the lil girl, she had some internal damage due to Ms. M‘s cat, there was just nothing we could do. The lil man was not eating much but when Aza made her special formula, he went crazy and hasn’t stopped.

Below is a picture she took earlier this evening. After a few feedings he's finally getting his color back and actually looks like a baby Eastern Gray squirrel!

Aza will be teaching me how to care for him. As of right now she is feeding this lil guy on the hour, every hour until he gets to a level that he can consume 2 to 3 ml’s of formula and is rehydrated. Then we can get to feeding him every 3 to 4 hours.

Now, I know it sounds really cute and you’re probably thinking “Are you going to keep him?” The answer to that is a resounding “No.” You can not have a domesticated squirrel, when their testicles drop they become a wild animal and vicious. This in mind, Aza has several that she has rehabbed, that became “permanents”. One has 3 legs and the other one has no upper incisors. This is the only time you should keep wild animals, if they are not able to be released into their natural environment because of their physical condition and you are willing to get the proper licensing required. You should have their captive environment as close to their natural environment as possible. It does them such a disservice when they are kept in captivity, when they should be released. Just to give you an idea, Aza has had these guys since juvenile stages. You would think they would know her, but due to hormones and wild animals being just that, wild- they have been known to try to attack her. She has years of experience in taking care of these guys and more importantly is licensed to due so. As surprising as it may seem, it is illegal to rehabilitate wild animals without state or (for some species) federal licensing.

In closing, we will rehab this lil guy and release him in about 5 months. If anybody has any questions, please feel free to ask.

I’m Out And We’ll Talk Later!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh when I hear police stories like this.

You boys go from serious, being shot at; hostage, crisis, fatal situations . . . to saving baby squirrels.

Too funny.