Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

March 30, 2009

Who You Gonna Call (or would you?)

A rather thought provoking conversation a friend of mine and I had a number of weeks ago. We all know to call 911 in the case of a human emergency or injury. Who do you call when it's an animal... especially a wild one? Would you call anybody? Would you try to help the animal yourself? Would you just ignore the poor creature and carry on with your own life?

Without getting into the details of my own personal story or the one from my friend... but we've both had our experiences of coming across wounded critters in our days.

Take a look at these creatures pictured here, they are some of the local wildlife in the city of Toronto. Some may call them pests but I think they are certainly a welcomed addition of living things to our city. In a sea of people everywhere, spotting one or more of these species is nice. Sure Raccoons get into the trash, Skunks tear up lawns in search of grubs, Squirrels destroy tulip gardens for the bulbs and, well, I am not sure what an Opossum does but I am sure someone out there has a complaint about them.

But, on a warm summers afternoon in the park, isn't it nice to see the Squirrels among us? An evening in the backyard and you happen to notice a family of Raccoons come trekking through the fence... aren't they interesting to watch? Or, have you ever been somewhere, even another backyard summer's eve party or camp out, and suddenly a Skunk comes through, everybody freaks out and runs to get away from him. Wasn't that a good laugh? Nobody got sprayed and the evening continued. Once again, a 'possum comes along, and well, I don't know... I see them and they just walk about, doing their thing, just trying to make it from one night to the next. I do know some people get quite a fright at the sight of them, thinking they are some humongous rat like creature; but they are a gentle type, not to be handled, but they most likely won't come over and tear up your ankles.

So, one day or night you happen to come across one injured. Would you do something about it? Would you just leave it up to Mother Nature? How about if you find a litter in distress and the mother is nowhere to be seen? She may have been caught by a predator or hit by a car... but, be sure you know the litter has been abandoned.

All I ask, is that if you think you would most likely do something for a creature(s) in distress... please have on hand the number of your local animal rescue, just save it to your cell phone and hope you never have to use it. It's a lot easier than coming across one, wanting to do something about it, but have no idea who to call. Having that number saved could save a life one day.


Angie in TO said...

This is without a doubt my favorite post to date. It's thought provoking and has a dash of humor.

We have so many stories about this exact topic that you could share, some funny, some sad.

It's their world just as much as it's ours, and they treat it better. I would try to help an injured animal and think others should too, even if it just means making that phone call....

Teena in Toronto said...

I wouldn't leave an animal suffering. I'd call 411 and see who they'd suggest to call (since I wouldn't have a clue).

Alex said...

It's hard. There used to be a place somewhere up here that helped rehabilitate wild animals. They took the orphaned baby racoon I found one year but I tried to look them up in the last year or so and I can't find a trace. They probably ran out of money.

If anybody hears of any others please post the name and number! It's that time of year.

In one instance I had to call about 5 places before I found somebody to go out and help in a situation. Don't give up though.

Call a vet or emergency vet clinic if there's an injury.

Here's a number: 757-622-7382 ext. 2. Yes, it's Peta. Call this number anytime if you need to help an animal and you aren't sure what to do. I have never called, I don't know what advice they will give. I put the number in my cell phone, just in case.

The main thing is, DON'T LEAVE and trust that the place you call will come and get the animal after you've gone.

Alex said...

PS I always see opossums around here at the beginning of winter, and apparently winter and life is very hard on these passive and slow-moving creatures. They usually don't live long lives. I can see why - they just look at me and might or might not slowly shuffle away.

Rob said...

'possum also don't see very well and end up hit by cars/trucks way too often.

I will post some Toronto area numbers here very soon.

T said...

I agree with Angie, this by far, I think is your best post to date!

Most city or counties here have local wild life rescues we can call. I do have their number, plus our local animal control, emergency vet, and my vet all in my cell phone. Never leave home without it.

Excellent post Rob!