29 September 2008

Trying to save them all

I am upset by a New York Times article about the struggle Texas rehabbers are having, trying to salvage what's left of the baby squirrels down there since Hurricane Ike swept through. It is daunting and it is heart-breaking, and the photo accompanying the article makes me wish they could all be kept safe forever.

To add to that grief, tonight I visited an animal hospital to assess two seemingly healthy baby squirrels being kept there. True, they are safe from harm, but they are warehoused for the most part and on a substandard, inappropriate diet, largely because there is no one available in the local rehab community, during this peak baby season, to take them. So the animal hospital staff is doing the best it can for these non-paying clients. Right now, everyone, including me, is swamped. And so when I had to leave the hospital empty-handed, it bothered me. It troubles me now. It will haunt me further tomorrow.

I am doing some networking to see if we can't somehow get them placed, even temporarily, until something a little more long-term opens up for them. They need to be with someone who can care for squirrels appropriately.

I wish we could save them all. From hurricanes. And from the blizzard known as baby season. I know we can't. But that doesn't stop me from wishing.


Anonymous said...

I suppose it's a daft idea, but would it be possible to present a "Squirrel Awareness" seminar to encourage local vets to provide more care for squirrels (and/or other wildlife)? (I suggests vets, because, obviously, to train--or find--someone to be a rehabber would be not be a short-term solution.) But if vets became more aware, perhaps it might provide a direction?

But you can call me Miss... said...

Where I live, we have albino squirrels. They are snow white and have pink eyes. They have the right-of-way on all streets, their visage is on all of our literature, police, and fire uniforms, and locals dress up as them for festivities.

squirrelmama said...

I totally love that some municipalities take an active role in protecting the white squirrels. Wouldn't it be nice if more places sought to protect wildlife like this? They truly are a national treasure - especially the white squirrels!
Chet, it is by no means daft to conduct those seminars - I actually helped a friend present one many many years ago to a collection of veterinary technicians. The problem however lies in the fact that a for-profit animal hospital, by virtue of its need to pay the rent and operating costs, will always give first priority to the paying clients - which, as we know, doesn't include our wild friends. So while they may have the spirit to be more pro-active in training staff for wildlife, it is impractical for them to devote their resources in that direction.

Anonymous said...

If it depended solely on practicality, would there be any wildlife rehabbers anywhere?

Instilling love of wildlife, however, might be a long-term practical investment in an inherently unpractical activity.

When one gets right down to it, how many people actually know that there are specific wildlife rehabbers? I met you by accident, and was that ever a surprise. Sometimes I think rehabbers are one of the secrets of society.