While I am on the topic of rescue, let me tell you about animal intakes. If some is bringing me a legitimately orphaned or injured animal, I request that they bring the animal in a container that I can keep so that we don’t have to uproot the animal as soon as they get here. We also ask that if they have begun to feed it anything that they bring some of that, too (so we don’t upset the animal’s tummy). People often find babies and think bottle feeding will be soooo much fun that they will raise the baby themselves. Then reality sets in and I get a call– they didn’t realize the time and expense was so great.
I thought I would compile a short list of the way in which some people have arrived with their injured/orphaned animals:
1) I once received baby birds in the top of a cake-holder thingy. You know, the super nice ceramic decorated ones where you put the cake on a pedestal and it has a lid to cover it? Why on earth this guy couldn’t find, say, A SHOE BOX for example, I don’t know. Instead lets take your wife’s prized hand-made cake holder top that weighs as much as a bowling ball and doesn’t sit flat because it has a handle. That will be so practical. Of course when he got here we had to pull everyone out and find another spot for them so he wouldn’t get chastised when he returned home.
2) We often get baby birds that have been fed cow’s milk. Sure. That makes perfect sense. I have seen lots of Mama birds swoop down and kill a cow (or just put it in a head-lock) so their baby birds could milk it. People, I have a little nugget of truth for you: BIRDS DON’T EVEN DRINK MILK FROM THEIR OWN MOTHERS. I don’t expect you to know what to feed baby birds, but geez louise, can’t you at least figure out what NOT to feed them?
3) I think my all time favorite is the time this lady brought us these precious little bunnies in a basket she said we could keep. Okay, bunnies in a basket sort of makes sense. Especially if you consider the whole Easter bunny and basket connection. But this basket had some interesting bedding in it. I asked the sweet lady who brought them “what type of bedding is this?” In the sweetest voice ever she replied “Oh. I read where they love to snuggle up to their mother’s fur, so I shaved my dog and put his fur in there.” You did WHAT? Poor dog. I hope she doesn’t find any more bunnies just before winter.
4) I get a call from a sweet sounding little girl who tells me she has found some baby cottontails and needs to bring them to me. She shows up an hour later with her parents and a cardboard box. She explains that she read on the internet that she should give them something to hide under. Fully expecting to see the remnants of another shaved dog, I cautiously peer into the box. Apparently, the ONLY thing she and her mother could think of for the bunnies to hide in was the little girl’s underwear. Three pair to be exact. HOLY MOTHER, MARY OF GOD. What the hell am I supposed to do with some little girl’s dirty panties? This whole thing creeps me out on multiple levels. Furthermore, how much do you think the bunnies appreciated having to tunnel into some little girls’ underwear? Um, did you not have a dish rag or an old t shirt you could spare? Some grass clippings? ANYTHING? For God’s sake people, shave your dog if you have to.