Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Wintery Conclusion to One Outrageous Day

Winter at the Wildlife In Need Center
As we watch some of the first significant snowflakes fall to the ground I’m remembering the busy days behind us and thought I would finish telling you the tale I began a few weeks ago of just one day this past summer at the Wildlife In Need Center.

When I left you last the office was humid and a balmy 85 degrees and a number of meetings had been interrupted for a variety of reasons and I had just walked outside, heading towards the other building which houses our animal care clinic with two squirrels and a bird I had just admitted… While I was gone Rose came into the office to ask Lisa a question. In the midst of answering her question she had to take a phone call. This phone call was from a woman who had an Owl in her pear tree.

Since Lisa had just spent about 10 minutes on the phone I answered it the next time it rang. This time the caller had problems with woodchucks in her yard that she wanted advice about. She believed that they were a breeding pair and that if she didn’t do something about them soon she would end up with an entire colony of them. This, of course wasn’t the case and she was relieved to hear so, but she did likely have a mother and a daughter attempting to burrow near her foundation. We went through the humane options she had available to her and left her with a plan for the next week to mitigate the situation.

Trying to accomplish what needs to get done is difficult enough when the phones and admissions come at such a steady pace, but the computers also lend to the problem. Playing “computer musical chairs” is a game played often around here. While waiting for my computer to respond I answered another phone call, this one from a local media outlet. They had heard about one of the patients we had recently admitted from a volunteer and wanted to do a story on them and their progress. I had to take a message so that I could find out the information they needed. When I wanted to call the reporter back however, I had to wait as we only have one phone line set-up to make outgoing long-distance phone calls (because of the rural area WINC is located in most of our phone calls are long-distance) and someone else was using it to return another phone call.

While I was waiting I decided to make some copies of a document I was going to need the following day. Using the copy machine on a hot, humid day proved to be a mistake as I was only able to do about half the job before it stopped working. Because we have a service agreement on the machine for situations just like this we contacted the company and placed a request.

It was just as well that I was done with that project for the time because it was just then that 2 new volunteers came over with their training checklists asking if I could go through the office portion for them. Mid-way through the training the phone rang and it was another caller dealing with some mischievous young woodchucks so I provided them with the information they needed to make an educated plan to humanely discourage them from continuing their antics and returned to my training.

Just when the new volunteers left and I thought I might be able to get back to what I had started earlier in the day the phone rang again and this time it was regarding a goose. The goose’s mate had apparently been hit by a vehicle a day or two prior and it had so far refused to leave its side. There was much concern regarding the dangerous area the goose was in, but as there was nothing physically wrong with it the bigger concern would be that attempting to capture it would surely drive it into traffic and certain injury or death itself. Geese are surprisingly social animals, but more on that another time. After a call tugging on your emotions like that one I often wish I could take a 15 minute break to clear my head, but when it’s summer that’s just not always a possibility.

As I hung up the phone someone was walking in with a box-full of orphaned cottontails that needed our experienced care if they were to survive. I admitted them, brought them to the clinic for some pedialyte and a soft-warm bed to rest in and returned to the office.

Speaking of a warm, cozy place, as you curl up at home tonight just remember to think of how amazing our wild neighbors are, surviving Wisconsin winters without the luxuries we have. And when the day comes that one of them needs the Wildlife In Need Center, we hope you’ll join us to make sure we’re here.

Thanks for Caring!

Save the Date! We'll be celebrating Groundhog's Day at the Waukesha Elks Lodge on Wednesday, February 2nd!

No comments:

Post a Comment