A Day In The (Wild) Life…

Disclaimer, or warning, or whatever:  The beginning of this post is not a happy one… if you want sunshine and roses, skip to paragraph 7.

I may possibly have a couple of new friends who don’t actually know what I do during the day… I work for a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility.  I am not a rehabber… I cannot work medical magic on wildlife.  I am, however, the animal 9-1-1 operator of the Seattle area, from Blaine to Tacoma and beyond, and I am also one who will occasionally go out and rescue, and every now and again, I get the opportunity to release wildlife back into their area.

Sometimes, I have really bad days or weeks.  This was one of those weeks.  The following is just a sample of what I encounter day in and day out.  While I usually have to hold back on what I say and how I react, this post is aimed at letting those people know how I really feel.  Just consider this cathartic for me, because that’s exactly what it is.  I never actually said what I thought, but boy, would I have loved to.

beaver

Source: Pinterest

To the woman who brought the baby American beaver in one full week after you called for advice… bad move.  You stated on the intake form that it had been “run over by cars.”  Had it been your cat or your dog that you’d seen being run over, would you have waited an entire week?!  How is it okay to watch an animal be run over by a car, and then wait 7 days to get it medical help?  Especially when said medical help is free??  I will never understand, but thank you for bringing it in.  Due to severe pain and internal injuries, it was humanely euthanized.  We quite possibly could have saved it and reversed its injuries, but you didn’t even give us a chance because you were selfish and didn’t bring it in as you were advised.

To the woman who felt it was necessary to “raise” a wild baby bunny for 2 weeks all by yourself without any experience or knowledge… bad move.  Had you brought it to us in the beginning, it would have been properly nourished and released back to the wild to be free.  The bunny you brought us, after 2 weeks of improper nourishment, was emaciated, dehydrated, and dying with agonal breathing.  As for the “lack of compassion” you accused me of having because I didn’t “pity” your situation… where was your compassion when you found this baby?  What made you think you could possibly raise this bunny to good health when you have zero wildlife rehab experience? People… I will tell you right here and right now… don’t trust what you read on the internet… wild bunnies are different from domestic bunnies, and their tummies do not absorb “goat’s milk” or “kitten replacement milk” as domestic bunnies may.  Do not feed wild bunnies milk or it will kill them.  And the reason the pet store won’t tell you this is because they want to sell you a load of products.  End result:  Euthanized, because it was suffering thanks to human intervention.

And, lastly, for the man who came upon a hawk while he was out on a trail riding his bike, a hawk that had a bag tied to its leg, the man wanted someone to come rescue the hawk after it had flown up to the underside of a bridge, a man who had no problem telling me I didn’t have “the balls or compassion” to rescue this animal with a bag tied to its leg… please, tell me, how would YOU catch a bird who can still fly?? You were afraid of its talons so you were frozen and just stood there until it flew away.  For crying out loud, put a sheet over it then put a box over it. But no, instead you decided to lay blame on me and the organization I work for because we didn’t “have the balls or compassion” to rescue it, even after I explained to you that I can’t rescue a bird who can still take flight.  I personally have lifted a full-sized deer into the back of a truck without hesitation, because my compassion gives me the strength and the balls to do so.  You, sir, however, only want to put the problem in someone else’s hands and then complain when they don’t do what you’d like them to do to solve your problem. But please, if you know of anyone who can catch a bird mid-flight, I’m all on it… give me that resource because I’d love to meet this superman.  The end result:  I redirected him to Fish and Wildlife so that he could tell THEM they didn’t have any “balls or compassion” as that’s what F&W get paid for.

***

However… all that being said… there are some really good and happy endings that make my job worthwhile.  I received this text from a lady in Issaquah, a single mom who had 4 children.  She texted me a photo of a deer dying on her property and asked for advice.  Unfortunately, I told her it had to be dispatched. This was the final response from her (notice… I had compassion):

screenshot_2016-07-22-19-46-16.png

I was on the phone most of the day with a man who was concerned about a fledgling barn owl and he was reporting its every move.  We went and got the owl, and it was eventually released healthy and happy.

owl audubondotorg

Audubon.org

 

A baby raccoon was feared to be abandoned.  However, the man who called sent me a picture of the baby raccoon, and there was no evidence that it had been abandoned because it was clean and healthy.  I advised him to leave it alone and keep an eye on it.  Guess what?! Mom came back.

BR attackofthecutedotcom

attackofthecute.com

 

Got a call from a lady who felt a fawn had been abandoned by its mom because it was sitting in a road.  I told her to put it back exactly where she found it.  Mom immediately came.  The lady didn’t even have time to drive away.

 

And as for Daryl, the domestic bunny I babysit all day at work (he belongs to the clinic manager), he’s still alive and kicking, getting bigger and better and more and more spoiled.  He’s standing up in his enclosure, wondering why I haven’t picked him up recently to give him cuddles.  He knows me well and totally knows how to play me.

20160722_201214.jpg

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10 (KJV)

If you run across an injured or orphaned animal, please, please, please contact your nearest rescue center.  And if we occasionally say that sometimes it’s best to let nature take its course, believe it to be true.  Nature has been around a lot longer than we have.

48 thoughts on “A Day In The (Wild) Life…

  1. SlowRunnerGirl

    Good that you shared this! People can behave so stupid and it breaks my heart that animals have to suffer. Also: WOW what an amazing job, can’t imagine how tough it must be, but then you get bunny cuddles 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. benjaminpeach

    You are doing a great job!! It’s amazing how insensitive and stupid people can be though. Sorry you have to deal with that. I have been pushing for the creation of a new smart phone app that would let you zap people on the other end for saying stupid things!! I think there would be a market!! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. tyronepierre

    I had to read this twice! The arrogance and ignorance of people looking for someone to blame is shocking…however despite this your job sounds very satisfying and knowing you have helped, assisted and saved animals must feel great! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. lynne hoareau

    Wow ! Paula thank you for all you do. Your job I am sure must play havoc to your brain when people can be so stupid and think that they know best. These poor defenseless animals suffer from the stupidity of some humans. I am still shocked. I am pleased too, that there are high’s in your job that you see, especially when an animal is saved, recovered and healthy. And, lets not forget about all the welcomed love and cuddles ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. mawil1

    It’s so frustrating when people ask for advice and then don’t take it. If it was just about them it wouldn’t be so bad, making your own choices and living with the consequences is ok, but when it’s about someone else, friend, relative, or animal if you were responsible enough to ask would it really hurt to see it through? I have a bit of sympathy for the man with the hawk though. If you haven’t been in that situation before you need some quick wits to think of what to do before the bird flys off! Of course I know now, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Hahahaha, it’s okay Sharon. I was just venting, but I totally get it. I have to pass on animal stories too, but I don’t go into great detail in my post… it’s more the stupidity of human intervention. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Rebecca Royy

    Sorry you had a tough week. I appreciate your posts on the animals. 2 weeks ago I came across a deer acting oddly. I was worried that she was hurt bc she was just laying on the ground. Which I don’t see ever! But I remembered that you say to leave the animals alone so I didn’t touch her. We looked up her behavior on the internet, and it appears that she was in labor/pre labor. Well guess what? Yesterday morning I had the honor of seeing her fawn!!

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. breidengale

    I do not miss working with the general public. I am so sorry that they yell at you about their misunderstanding. Not a fun work week at all. Glad you got some bunny cuddles. ❤ Next week has to be better, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thanks Renee! It’s a shame that there are actually people out there who feel it necessary and okay to berate a total stranger. But believe me when I tell you I’ve hung up on more than 1 or 2 people, hehe. I’m not in the customer-service business, I’m in the saving-animals business and I don’t have to tolerate their rudeness, 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. The Happy Healthy Kiwi

    Such an important message. Zombies father was head keeper at our local zoo for years and their family lived in a house at the zoo for most of his childhood. Because of this Zombie is very knowledgeable regarding animals and their welfare and he often gets irate at the zoo, pet and animal rescue shows on TV because they often focus on what humans want as opposed to what is best for the animals. We are both pleased that there are places our there like yours that do have the animals best interests at heart ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you Katie! That means a lot to me! Our mission is rescue, rehab, release. People sometimes think we’re there to serve THEM (the people), and that couldn’t be further from the truth. 😉

      Like

      Reply
  9. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Paula, I really don’t think I could do what you do. This whole situation with Bandit has made it pretty clear to me that fostering would be too confusing to Lola, and I just don’t have the right temperament for rescue.

    So thank you — because *I* know without a doubt how compassionate you are. And I’m really, really, really sorry for all those poor animals that had to be euthanized. Another reason I just couldn’t be a vet.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you Judy, that’s super sweet. And the euthanasia thing, it’s just acceptance… acceptance that there’s no hope, that you no longer want to see an animal suffer any longer and believe the kindest thing for them is to just fall asleep. We all still cry about it, but we accept what’s best.

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