We love having the opportunity to post our call logs here on Patch for multiple reasons. We want the public to know exactly what we are doing each day and the types of calls that we received. We also like the idea of making the public aware of disease dangers in their area, especially in your pets' concern. However, we hope that our readers understand that we try very hard to save each animal we encounter. Sadly, this time of year, many of the calls we go out on end in euthanasia. While we know it looks a bit harsh when you read the logs, much of the time the animals that we euthanize are in such awful shape that their suffering is heartbreaking to see. Owls with breaks in both wings, raccoons that are having seizures every ten minutes that they scream and cry during, deer that have 105 degree temperatures and can't do anything but roll around in the mud - these animals need euthanized in order to end the suffering that they have endured. Many citizens believe that they can just call the police or animal control department when they see an animal of any kind suffering, but that just isn't the case most of the time. For St. Louis City, County, Jefferson County, Washington county, and many others, animal control departments only work with domestic species like dogs and cats. Any wildlife concerns are referred directly to us or the Dept. of Conservation. Often the Dept. of Conservation's approach is to 'let nature take its course' in regards to a raccoon having seizures in your yard, or a fox that cannot walk or stand. We do understand the policy of 'letting nature take its course' but our organization attempts to help in these cases where the animal is clearly suffering, spreading the disease, and posing a danger to pets and people.
Our worst fear is that a child will get off the school bus and see a sick raccoon, thinking that the raccoon is just friendly and not realizing he is sick, the child will try to pet the animal (raccoons are still pretty cute even when they're sick) and will end up getting bit. Then the child has to undergo rabies exposure shots, deal with the possible wound infection, worry his parents, etc. It is equally difficult to 'let nature take its course' when there is a sick animal under your car and you need to leave to go to work! When the animal can't walk, but is still alive enough to bite you, you're stuck with very few options without the Wildlife Hotline to call upon. Please keep this in mind when reading our call log and try to understand that we would like to save every wild life we come in contact with. It's not from lack of trying that we euthanize so many this time of year. Sadly, sometimes death is the most humane option we have to offer. In addition to the sadness of euthanasia, it also takes a toll on our finances. Every rescue we respond to is handled by one of our amazing volunteers. They spend their own gas money driving to the rescue site, and then we have to incur the costs of euthanasia and disposal which is roughly $25-35 per animal. We ask our callers to donate especially when we are doing a house call, but all too often we do not receive a contribution of any kind to help us with costs. That's why we are constantly participating in events to raise funds to keep the Hotline going. If you wish to help support our cause, please visit our website or facebook page to learn more about the events that we having coming up and how best to help us.
Come see us this weekend! We will be wrapping Christmas gifts for donations at Schaeffer's Hobby Shop on Gravois Rd. from 9am - 6pm on Saturday 12/22. On Sunday the 23rd we will be at Chesterfield/Boone's Crossing Wal-Mart wrapping gifts from 9am-10pm. Then, on Christmas Eve you can find us at Barnes & Noble on Clarkson Rd in Chesterfield from open to close 9am-6pm. We will also be selling our adorable 2013 Critter Calendars for $15 at each of these events as well. The more money we can raise during the winter equals the more orphaned babies we can admit in the spring. Last year we admitted approximately 130 orphaned raccoons, 80 baby squirrels, 50 baby skunks, 100 orphaned opossums, and many other species like foxes, coyotes, groundhogs, birds, raptors and ducklings. Your generosity and support keeps these babies alive and well fed until they can be successfully rereleased into the wild again!
Wildlife Hotline Call Blotter – December 3 – December 20th
St. Louis City, MO
Caller has “rodents” living in attic and walls and wants them removed.
Advised caller that we cannot remove animals for her, but can assist her by teaching her how to evict. Then needs handyman to make repairs to entry points.
Caller found bat on ground, unable to fly or climb.
Dispatched. Picked up bat, multiple injuries on abdomen, wings look ok. Admitted, died overnight.
St. Louis City, MO
Caller found bat on ground, unable to fly or climb.
Dispatched. Picked up bat, no injuries just grounded. Advised caller bats cannot fly from ground. Took bat to tree, let him climb up and fly away. Released.
House Springs, MO
Caller has injured doe on property, fawn still with her. Limping severely, but still able to walk/run. Caller worried about fawn losing Mom.
Advised caller we cannot intervene as long as doe is still mobile and able to walk at all. Fawn has no spots – old enough to be on its own.
Raccoon unable to walk, stand, having seizures in yard. Caller frustrated that animal control and police were unable to help. Animal is suffering and caller very upset.
Advised animal control only does cats and dogs –no wildlife. Dispatched. Picked up distemper raccoon, euthanized.
Caller found owl stuck in chain in back yard dog run.
Dispatched. Owl exhausted from trying to escape, but looks good- no injuries. Untangled. Admitted until dark, released that evening.
Caller has domestic ducks and male of mating pair died yesterday. Caller worried about female’s ability to recover from losing mate.
Advised that female will be fine after some time, but this is not a wildlife issue.
Caller found injured owl on side of highway. Picked it up and brought home, not sure where to take it. Has kept owl in cage at home for 2 days so far.
Dispatched. Owl admitted with trauma injuries –no broken bones. Still in hospital.
Caller wants to know if we have any baby squirrels available for adoption. Caller’s child wants one as a pet for Christmas.
Advised caller that it is illegal in the state of MO to own native wildlife as pets. Also advised that squirrels would make terrible pets anyway – they are wild animals.
Caller has red fox in yard stumbling around, falling over, acting drunk and disoriented.
Dispatched. Distemper probable. Picked up. Euthanized.
Caller having problems with raccoons getting into garbage cans and making huge mess before morning each week. Wants to know how to deter them.
Advised caller trash should not go out at night. Keep in garage, shed, foyer, anywhere until morning or secure lid so that raccoons can’t open it.
Virginia Fish & Game Dept. called because they want to set up a hotline like ours to handle the public’s urban wildlife conflicts and questions. Agent explained that they do not have the staff to answer these calls, and wants to know how we are handling it.
Advised agent to involve rehabbers in state to assist with calls like these. Work hand in hand with rehabbers. Also gave Google Voice information and how to handle telephone systems.
St. Louis-South County, MO
Ronnie’s Theatre in South County, MO has chipmunk in game room and no one can catch it. Chippie able to climb walls because of upholstered/carpeted walls, Came in through back door while propped open. Caller does not know where chippie is right now.
Advised we cannot catch animals like this when unable to know where to start. Offered use of trap, but explained propping door back open will probably work faster/easier.
Dispatcher for Crestwood Police Dept. calling in for help with rooster and hen roaming streets of Crestwood. Officers on scene are unable to catch them so far. Now it’s dark making rescue much more difficult and birds have gone up in tree 25+ft overhead.
Advised that chickens roost at night. Won’t get another chance to catch them until daybreak. Referred back to Animal Control Officer for Crestwood in morning.
Caller has large hill with culvert at bottom in her back yard. Fox at bottom of hill in concrete culvert very sick, unable to stand/walk, having seizures. Caller extremely upset by animal’s suffering. (Received 2 other calls within 5 minutes of this one from other concerned neighbors.)
Advised caller of distemper, signs and symptoms. Dispatched. On scene in less than 15mins. Picked up GRAY fox, probable distemper. Fox unresponsive to any stimuli but still alive. Advised neighbors on scene rarity of GRAY fox, but must be euthanized.
Caller has skunk living under shed in back yard. Wants to know if he should be concerned, or if coexistence is okay. Extremely tolerant caller, willing to coexist if possible and not harmful to people.
Advised caller rabies risk is slim, but possible if contact occurs. However, contact would be difficult. Shed is not near house, and not bothering anyone. Caller chooses to coexist. Advised of warning signs so as not to get sprayed.
Caller has been watching cottontail rabbit outside of window at work for multiple days and rabbit has not moved from same spot. Caller is worried about checking on her because if rabbit runs away, will run into Big Bend – busy street.
Advised caller that rabbits sometimes do this, and might be leaving spot at night and coming back. Dispatched. Rabbit perfectly fine. Ran away when approached, then returned to spot.
Caller has skunk stuck in trash can. Just noticed him this morning, but not sure how long he has been there. Curled up at bottom of trash can sleeping now – normal household trash can, not dumpster.
Dispatched. Skunk uninjured, probably only there overnight. Released back to the woods.
St. Louis City, MO
Caller has adult squirrel on outside of house with paw stuck in awning/brick of home. Squirrel is approachable because he’s stuck but aggressive when caller attempts to help.
Dispatched. Squirrel not exactly stuck, but frozen from predatory response. Uninjured, released.
Caller feeds squirrels and noticed that one of this year’s babies is dragging himself around in yard, unable to use hind legs.
Advised caller this is usually a got by dog, but if squirrel can still climb, run, leave him be. If she can contain him, call us and we can pick up.
Caller has doe dying in back yard since yesterday morning- suffering. Unable to walk or stand, rolling back and forth in mud, panting, seizing. Caller wants someone to euthanize. Has called animal control, dept. of conservation, and police – caller claims all unable to assist.
Advised caller of EHD symptoms, aka Blue Tongue. Caller confirms symptoms. Dispatched. Arrived on scene in 20 mins but doe is deceased. Advised of ACS removal and disposal.
Caller found injured red tail hawk on side of road, has contained and needs to take to rehabber.
Referred to Treehouse and other local rehabbers. Advised of how to safely handle – do not feed. Hawk admitted, broken wing, still in hospital.
Caller has raccoon under tire of car, lying down unable to walk or stand. Caller has tried to chase off with broom but raccoon doesn’t even look at her. Caller needs to go to work and cannot leave because of raccoon. Spoke with animal control dept and was given our number.
Dispatched. Probable distemper. Picked up and euthanized.
Caller found injured owl on side of road. Caller contained owl and has in box, but needs to know where to take it.
Referred to Aaron Boldman or Dickerson Park Zoo. Owl admitted, still in hospital.
Caller reporting hawk that she saw on her way to work this morning. Hawk erratic diving and crashing into things. Visible from Hwy 47 @ Sinclair station. Couldn’t tell if injured or not.
Dispatched. Could not locate owl. Assume that he recovered. Advised caller that this is the time of year that birds eat fermented berries and get a little ‘drunk’ sometimes.
Caller uses glue traps to control rodents in home. Bird got into house and is now stuck in glue trap.
Advised to take bird directly to Wild Bird Rehab. Contain in paper bag for now. Also advised to stop using glue traps!
Caller has sick raccoon in yard – unable to stand/walk, lying on back staring at sky. Caller’s house is where school bus stops to let kids out, worried that smaller children will think raccoon is cute and friendly.
Dispatched. Picked up raccoon before school bus arrived. Probable distemper. Euthanized.
Webster Groves, MO
Caller has injured/paralyzed squirrel in front yard. Unable to use hind legs, no visible injuries.
Dispatched. Squirrel has multiple puncture wounds, already infected. Extremely cold, lethargic. Attempted to rehydrate and evaluate spinal injury but squirrel died before full exam.
Caller is manager of department store on Lindbergh & Lemay Ferry. Red fox wandered in through back door into freight unloading area, and won’t leave. Hiding behind boxes and jumping around scaring employees.
Dispatched. Caught fox with net, fairly young but okay on his own. Uninjured, just stressed. Re-released in same vicinity but away from parking lot of store.
Caller upset that her dog was in fight with opossum last night and now is at vet’s office with injuries. Caller believes that opossum purposefully attacked dog and wants removed from yard.
Advised caller we cannot remove opossums from the wild. They are native species and we would never eliminate them all. Explained how to deter opossums in yard, and watch dog more carefully.
Caller has raccoon in back yard for multiple days, walking in circles, out during the day, looks thin and sickly.
Dispatched. Probable distemper. Picked up and euthanized.
Caller just moved into new home that was empty on the market for over 1 year before she bought it. Raccoons are living in the attic of home and caller is scared they will get in main part of home and attack.
Advised of unlikelihood of attack unless cornered and unable to escape. Taught deterrent methods to evict raccoons, then make repairs to disallow entry.
Kansas City, MO
Lakeside Nature Center reporting blue heron that needs rescue in KC area. Caller unable to catch but heron is unable to fly to multiple days.
Referred to local rehabber, picked up and had to be euthanized.
Caller has Cedar Waxwing (songbird) that ran in to back sliding glass door. Picked up bird and brought inside. Not flying of trying to fly. Has red berry in its mouth.
Advised that waxwings eat fermented berries this time of year and get a little intoxicated/drunk then will run into things. Bird is just stunned. Put laundry basket over bird for 30-60 mins and then release. Bird released 35 mins later successfully.
Raccoon in parking lot of strip mall, wandering around aimlessly, and walking up to people and cars.
Dispatched. Caught raccoon, probable distemper. Euthanized.
Raccoon living in rafters of caller’s garage. Growls and hisses when they go outside to garage to get in car. Wants removed but not harmed. Caller is aware of one entry point in garage ceiling that needs repairs.
Advised to wait until dark when raccoon leaves, and close entry point to evict. Also advised of clean up protocol if latrine is present.
Owl stuck in soccer goal net of local high school. Maintenance crew scared to approach.
Dispatched. Owl uninjured after untangled. Released again onsite.
Caller was hunting and found dead squirrel on ground, with no apparent injuries or bullet wounds. Caller wants to know what squirrel may have died from.
Advised caller that many different causes are possible. Health dept does not test wildlife for disease unless human risk is involved (bite reports).
Injured Great Horned Owl found on side of road. Caller wrapped in sweatshirt and brought home in box. One wing bloody, does not try to flap wings or fly. Non-aggressive.
Dispatched. Not GHO – barred owl. Admitted and transported to WBS. Injuries to BOTH wings, plus head lacerations. Fatal injuries. Euthanized.
Caller has gray fox in barn with visible injuries. Another wildlife center was supposed to come out today to rescue, but they cancelled. Fox is approachable but aggressive.
Dispatched. Caught and contained injured adult coyote. Pelvis shattered, multiple compound fractures, infected. Fractious, no longer in shock. Devastating injuries. Euthanized.
St. Charles, MO
Caller breeds domestic rabbits. Had litter 4 days ago, one bunny losing weight rapidly and not thriving. Does not have a regular veterinarian and worried he won’t make it through the night.
Referred to AEC North, but advised warm and hydrate. Explained hydration protocol and hopeful that bunny will reattach to Mom once hydrated.
Caller has raccoons that she sees come up from sewer near back yard. One raccoon is out during the day wandering around for past week or so. Wants to know how to evict from sewer.
Advised raccoons not living in sewer, just using it for transport. The one raccoon out during the day may be sick. Call when she sees him again.
Raccoon stuck in dumpster behind gas station. May have been there all day. Dumpster empty.
Advised caller to throw box in dumpster for raccoon to use to climb out, and throw away trash. Raccoon successfully escaped.
Deer hit by car on Kingston in Lemay. Unable to walk or stand, but still alive,
Called in to St. Louis County Police to euthanize on scene. Deer euthanized.
Maryland Heights, MO
Sick raccoon in front yard, walking in circles. Neighbor contained with trash can over it and rock to hold in place.
Dispatched. Raccoon DOA. Removed and disposed of.
Caller with raccoons in sewer from yesterday sees the sick one wandering around neighborhood.
Dispatched. Raccoon still able to run and climb, but obviously early stage distemper. Advised must wait until he is sick enough to catch.
Flock of Cedar Waxwings in yard on ground, walking around and falling over, stumbling, running into things.
Advised caller of waxwings tendency to eat fermented berries and get a bit drunk. Birds will recover, just give it time. Call back if injuries occur.
South Kansas City, MO
Raccoons living in attic. Wants removed.
Advised that drop in temps today cause animals to see out warm places to hide. Caller must make repairs to disallow entry into attic in order to evict.
Bird hit window of house, now on ground holding one wing out. Caller worried that it will need euthanized and doesn’t think she can do it herself.
(Very windy day) Advised caller bird is probably okay. Explained bird strike/stun. Advised put laundry basket over bird, wait 30 mins and let him go. If he cannot fly, call back. Bird successfully released.
Webster Groves, MO
Caller set trap and caught opossum and animal control will not pick up. Wants us to pick up and remove opossum and release somewhere else. Caller says opossum or other critter keeps climbing gutter to get to roof and trying to create hole in roof to get into attic. Shingles on ground, damage is visible.
Advised caller that this is not effective way of resolving wildlife conflict. Opossum is not the animal climbing the gutter – probably raccoon. Advised to grease gutter, put down cayenne pepper, use Ropel, and release opossum from trap.
Caller sees raccoon near condo complex dumpster every night and is scared to take trash outside. Wants animal control to remove raccoon, but was referred to us instead. Caller outraged that animal control will not remove raccoons and convinced that it will attack her or her children if not removed soon.
Advised that raccoon cannot be removed – probably not just one raccoon anyway. Secure dumpster lids, talk to trash company about sliding door dumpster to deter raccoons, and take trash out in morning instead of at night.
East St. Louis, IL
Caller believes he has badger in back yard digging huge tunnels and scaring his wife.
Advised caller probably not a badger, probably a groundhog. Taught deterrent methods and hibernation schedule.