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(Quad City Times)   Licensed volunteer wildlife rehabilitators help nurse animals back to health so they can reenter the wild and OH MY GOD BABY FOXES AND RACOONS   (qctimes.com) divider line 12
    More: Sappy, wildlife rehabilitators, Scott County, Bettendorf, Rock Island, nurses, Vera Blevins, wildlife  
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8738 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 May 2013 at 1:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-05-21 12:37:16 AM  
6 votes:
I'll get a head start.

1) Wildlife rehabbing is STUPIDLY expensive. EVERYTHING ABOUT IT is expensive, from the medications you have to buy, to the facilities you have to maintain, to the licenses and training you must have, [On 4 levels in  some places, plus more licenses inspection and fees if you deal with Rabies Vector Species], to transport cages and bedding. NOTHING IS FREE, and guess what... you can't bill Mother Nature. No one pays you. SOMETIMES you get donations, but that rarely if ever covers the cost of raising one orphaned infant to a releasable age.

2) People are incredibly misinformed about wildlife. You will spend many many hours of your day educating people (who usually do not want to be educated) about things like deer "parking" where a mom will "park" her baby deer somewhere safe while she goes off to eat. Sometimes that will be in your yard. Just because you don't see the mom, doesn't mean she doesn't know what is going on.
People will also do things thinking they are helping (Like feeding kitten formula to a squirrel baby, or putting a baby beaver in a bucket of water so it stays wet) that will quite often kill the animals.
You have to be nice to them. It hurts sometimes. Especially in a situation like when a mom lets her 9 year old play with the baby raccoon that came up on the deck, and let it suck on her finger. That baby raccoon now has to die in most states. It did nothing wrong, the people did something wrong, but the raccoon has to die to be tested for rabies. (Which 99.99995 times out of 100 it will not have)

3) Heartbreaks come fast and hard. One day everything is peachy, and the next day someone brings a groundhog in with distemper, and suddenly every animal in your care is hideously ill and most of them will die horrible deaths and there is not a DAMNED THING you can do about it.
That is one example of about 1000 I could give.

4) Wildlife vets are few and far between, they don't usually have emergency hours, and they are AMAZINGLY expensive. Even simple procedures are thousand dollar trips when you are dealing with wildlife. Also, medication for diseases that effect wildlife are often not available, or cost thousands of dollars. We had a raccoon that contracted a horrible neuro disease called EPM (Which usually is confined to horses) There is no money in treating wildlife, so there is no formulary for treating a raccoon with EPM. Hell, he wasn't even supposed to be able to contract EPM, but he did.

5) Much of what you do is only legal because they *want* to let you. The state *usually* doesn't care, and will not help you. Many states it is illegal (even if you are a licensed rehabber) to work with certain animals. If you get caught releasing that OBVIOUSLY healthy, (been in your care for over 6 mos, and has rabies shots) perfectly fine raccoon .. in some states.. that is jail time. Period.

6) It can only break your heart.

The BEST CASE SCENARIO for a wildlife rehabber is that you get the animal, you fix what is wrong with it (if anything), you make sure it hates you and everyone that looks like you, and you wave goodbye to it as it leaves. You will get attached, you will be "mom" to many animals... and they will show you love and affection.. and you will HAVE TO MAKE THEM HATE YOU. You can't do it any other way. They can't trust humans, or you will fail as a rehabber when you release them.

Worst case scenario... They come in, you do everything you legally and monetarily can.. and they die anyway, because you just can't fix everything... but hey, it's just your heart and your bank account that is broke.. and there is someone on the phone with 4 baby squirrels who's mother was just killed by a cat... so you suck it up and go again.

Phew... Thats about all I can type right now.
2013-05-21 01:00:07 AM  
3 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: Shadow Blasko: I will also state for the record:

I AM NOT A LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABBER.

I lived with one for a decade, and assisted with many many things and have seen the gamut of what happens, but I am not a licensed rehabber.

A question, not an attack: why did you take the time to post this, when you obviously hate everything about wildlife rehab and spent far more time telling us how horrific it is than you did on the actual post? Did you just need an excuse to vent some of the pain, or are you trolling?


Because I want people to know that it takes a super serious commitment to do that kind of work that very few people have. It's amazingly rewarding, I loved doing it. I still love helping out, but it is NOT something you do on a whim.

Every spring during baby season there are a lot of feel-good stories out there that make people think that rehab work is all love and kisses from adorable baby raccoons.. And some of it is, but it's also getting up every 3 hours to feed baby squirrels that take 90 minutes to eat... and its pulling maggots out of the eye infection of a groundhog that was bitten by a cat, knowing it will probably die, but you have to try.

I just want people to know about what it is really like.. not just the funny pics and cute videos.
2013-05-20 09:51:01 PM  
2 votes:

feckingmorons: Had I won half a billion dollars in the lottery I would have quit my day job to do something like that.

Squee!

I liked that, thanks subby.


It's the most depressing job in the world. Trust me.
2013-05-21 08:56:34 AM  
1 votes:

Shadow Blasko: I'll get a head start.

1) Wildlife rehabbing is STUPIDLY expensive. EVERYTHING ABOUT IT is expensive, from the medications you have to buy, to the facilities you have to maintain, to the licenses and training you must have, [On 4 levels in  some places, plus more licenses inspection and fees if you deal with Rabies Vector Species], to transport cages and bedding. NOTHING IS FREE, and guess what... you can't bill Mother Nature. No one pays you. SOMETIMES you get donations, but that rarely if ever covers the cost of raising one orphaned infant to a releasable age.

2) People are incredibly misinformed about wildlife. You will spend many many hours of your day educating people (who usually do not want to be educated) about things like deer "parking" where a mom will "park" her baby deer somewhere safe while she goes off to eat. Sometimes that will be in your yard. Just because you don't see the mom, doesn't mean she doesn't know what is going on.
People will also do things thinking they are helping (Like feeding kitten formula to a squirrel baby, or putting a baby beaver in a bucket of water so it stays wet) that will quite often kill the animals.
You have to be nice to them. It hurts sometimes. Especially in a situation like when a mom lets her 9 year old play with the baby raccoon that came up on the deck, and let it suck on her finger. That baby raccoon now has to die in most states. It did nothing wrong, the people did something wrong, but the raccoon has to die to be tested for rabies. (Which 99.99995 times out of 100 it will not have)

3) Heartbreaks come fast and hard. One day everything is peachy, and the next day someone brings a groundhog in with distemper, and suddenly every animal in your care is hideously ill and most of them will die horrible deaths and there is not a DAMNED THING you can do about it.
That is one example of about 1000 I could give.

4) Wildlife vets are few and far between, they don't usually have emergency hours, and they are AMAZINGLY ...


I live in Estes Park, Colorado.  I see stupid people doing stupid things around wildlife all summer long.  Living next to a cabin build sight in the canyon, a worker arrived in the morning and unchained the dirt road access to the site.  He saw something in the weeds and the next thing I know this guy is walking toward me with a fawn in his arms wrapped up in his flannel shirt.  It was wet.
He had absolutely no clue, and thought the animal had been hit by a car because it would not get up and walk away.  Of course it was because it was newborn and couldn't stand yet.   I could see the concerned Momma Doe watching us thru the high weeds.  I was so pissed off that this guy from Denver was so disconnected from nature, he had no idea what a newborn looked like.   All I could do was explain what the situation was, and what he had done.  I told him to put it in the weed where he found it and walk away.   The fawn was absolutely rejected by it's mother died.
2013-05-21 05:46:31 AM  
1 votes:

Shadow Blasko: RealFarknMcCoy2: // Not currently doing wildlife rehab, though I wouldn't mind doing some here in Oz

OMG... I talked to a guy that has a couple non-releasable wombats in his rehab!

Talk about amazing! They are just as sweet as can be, and just as smart as raccoons.
I would love to spend some "heartbreak time" with a wombat. Or a Quokka!


Wombats are nowhere near as smart as raccoons - sorry to burst your bubble!  They're cute when they're little, but adult wombats resemble nothing quite so much as a boulder with hair... ;-)
2013-05-21 02:18:20 AM  
1 votes:

Shadow Blasko: I'll get a head start.

1) Wildlife rehabbing ...Lots of stuff.



++Eleventy. All true to my expereinces(as an observer, not a rehabber myself).

I am married to a former wildlife rehabber, she did it for maybe 5 years (I dated her this entire time). The animals are incredible, and seeing a vet pin a wing bone on a small bird is effing incredible. Flight-testing a red tail was incredible, baby mountain lions are so adorable it hurts. They had a resident turkey vulture (permanently disfigured wing, used in education programs) that would follow you around and when you weren't looking untie your shoelaces. (You do not know disgusting until you've cleaned up turkey vulture vomit, BTW.)

But there is heartbreak, so much heartbreak. The euthanizing never gets easy, and weighed heavily enough that she eventually moved on.
2013-05-21 01:39:58 AM  
1 votes:
This is what you look like when you are driving home from an event 300 miles from home, you've been on the road for a week, and 20 miles from home you get a call to come get these babies out of someones garage.

(I get so much hell for the way I look in this pic)

i.imgur.com
2013-05-21 01:24:58 AM  
1 votes:
Hey guys, here's a picture of an animal lover riding a cock!

th08.deviantart.net

/I'm here all week.
2013-05-21 01:19:14 AM  
1 votes:
Everyone...

We can still safely boop their noses on the computer monitors. It will not harm them and we can giggle in the privacy of our own homes and go "FOXY WOXY BOXY BABY BOO!"

No one has to die this way.
2013-05-21 01:06:42 AM  
1 votes:
I see your point, but y'know, sometimes I'd like to look at pictures and think, "the only thing cuter than puppies just might be fox kits" instead of thinking, "that animal is ruining the life of the person trying to help it and will most likely die a horrific death". Especially when the headline is all about cuteness.

So, thanks for that.
2013-05-21 12:43:38 AM  
1 votes:
I will also state for the record:

I AM NOT A LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABBER.

I lived with one for a decade, and assisted with many many things and have seen the gamut of what happens, but I am not a licensed rehabber.
2013-05-20 09:42:35 PM  
1 votes:
Had I won half a billion dollars in the lottery I would have quit my day job to do something like that.

Squee!

I liked that, thanks subby.
 
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