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When an Animal Needs Your Help

Posted by at 6:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)


helping-animalsI’m distraught. A wonderful long-time member wrote to me about three incidents she had witnessed where animals in need sought human help-and unfortunately did not always receive it. There were so many lessons in these stories that I wanted to share them with you.

In one of the stories, a duck with a severely mangled beak walked up to the PETA member and pressed himself against her leg, “looking for help.” Not knowing what to do, our member left, went back to where she was staying and called an agency, asking it to send someone to the park to help the duck. When I read this, my heart sank. Who knows whether the agency actually went out, and if it did, whether it found the duck and did anything to help him?

The second incident was a bit better: A duck had approached our member while she was in a park, again “clearly looking for help,” a hook stuck through her bill. The duck, although wild, had allowed herself to be picked up and held. Our member enlisted someone with a toolkit to help and the duck waited patiently while the hook was cut out before waddling back to her brood on the lake.

In another case, our member found herself in a rather difficult situation. While traveling in Africa, a bull entered a mud hut in the village that she was visiting. He had come there seeking human help, the owners said, because he had eaten something he shouldn’t have, and his stomach was painfully distended. Such a condition can be fatal for cattle. The villagers didn’t know what to do, and there was no vet around. In this tragic case, the animal did not receive the care that he needed.

In each of these cases, the animals not only needed human help but also clearly asked for it. Are you prepared if an animal in need asks you for help?

Please remember this: Always stay with an animal in need, or plant someone else’s feet there while you go for help. You should never drive or walk away, just as you would never leave a lost child, hoping that someone else will answer your call later and find this distressed being. Often, that does not come to pass. When animals come to us looking for help or when we happen upon an animal in need, we must do all that we can, appointments be damned and obligations no mind, to live up to their expectations. If you aren’t sure what to do and how to help, here is a guide we put together, or call us any time at 757-622-7382 and dial 2 if you cannot find a solution.

Thanks.

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6 Comments

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    Laura Lewis says...

    October 22nd, 2008, 11:57 am

    Thank you for offering this. I commute 40 miles from a small rural town to a larger college town. To say I see dead animals on the road is an understatement. Deer, coyote, fox, rabbits, armadillo, squirrels, cats, dogs, snakes etc. I’ve often wondered what I’d do if I saw one still alive. Now I feel more empowered. Before, I was ill equipped to handle any animal emergency, but thanks to you, I now feel I can at least try. Thanks again for the article and the kit.

    Bonnie Bonsor says...

    October 24th, 2008, 8:24 pm

    I can relate to this. I am feeding a beautiful Maine Coon cat – about a year old – who I think was left behind in our apartments by his owners. I feed him moist and dry food with a bowl of milk, three times a day. Needless to say – he’s pretty healthy. In about a week I will take him to a local vet who will neuter him and give him his rabies shots, and then in 3 weeks he will go to the Humane Society to get a new home. If he’s not placed in the 2 months they will keep him, I will take him back and keep him safe and warm until I find the right person. (My other 2 cats would not do well with a new addition now). Animals ask for help all the time – we can do it!!!

    Jennipher says...

    October 25th, 2008, 3:02 am

    Thanks for the information. I have helped some animals on the road before. Thankfully they were not yet injured, but a turtle crossing a four lane divided highway is asking for trouble. When I still had my car i kept old jeans and towels in the trunk and blankets too. I know that turtles can carry diseases but after saving two I thought keeping the items on hand would be a good plan. Just a month later I pulled over and saved the same turtle twice in one day. On my way to the grocery store (before successfully transitioning comepletely to vegetarianism) I saw the little guy and pulled over. wrapped up my hands in a couple of towels and using old jeans I picked him up and moved him a safe distance off the road. In the store I was approached by some vegans who applauded the rescue. They were about to pull over to help but saw that I had him safe. On my way home the determined thing had made his way down a hill and back into the road. I made a swift U-turn and took him farther away from the road. I went home hoping that he did not wander back into danger. I took a few extra trips out to check the road for the worst but he was not there. ^_^ My biggest concern is reptiles here in Florida. People buy amazing animals such as Iguanas and assume they will stay small. I Would love an Iguana but know that they need a room the size of your average bedroom and a LOT of attention. Like birds, they tend to bond with only one or two people and can lash their tails violently at others whom they consider intruders. Too frequently you see them set free to fend for themselves in the wild and they do not understand that the car coming their way might not stop. They are slow moving animals, but can be dangerous. What advice would you give for exotic animals such as these beautiful lizards. Also what can we do to make more vet clinics willing to help birds and lizards?

    Mary-Kay Bono, SFC (Ret.), NJ Army National Guard says...

    October 26th, 2008, 5:15 am

    My ex-son-in-law just HAD to have an iguana. He named him King. However, my son-in-law never fed the poor creature. My daughter got stuck doing it all the time except when I was visiting. I did it for her every day. She worked too and had 3 little children. When they had decided to move to California from North Carolina, he put King on a tree in their backyard and left him there. They never saw him again. And if you think that was cruel, listen to this one–my daughter and her children were with us visiting family in Florida for my nephew’s wedding. While we were there, my daughter received a call from her husban. It seems that her beloved dog Roscoe was ill. She had asked him to take him to the vet. Supposedly he did and the bill for whatever the problem was turned out to be more than he wanted to pay. So, he told my daughter that someone in the neighborhood SHOT Roscoe. When we took our daughter and grandchildren back home, I spoke with him and told him to call the Sheriff’s Office. He played it down and said that it wasn’t worth it and that they’d never find out who had done it anyway. The way he was acting, I could tell in a heartbeat–and I told my daughter–he himself had shot the poor creature simply because he didn’t want to spend the money on him. Although for himself he went out and bought 2 pairs of sneakers–one for walking and one for running–both of the pairs cost $200.00 each. He’ll spend $400.00 on stupid sneakers, but to save a poor, innocent animals’s life, he paid only about 30 cents for a bullet! Did I mention that my son-in-law is our EX-son-in-law! (Good riddence!)

    shelley I. fiks says...

    January 13th, 2009, 1:59 pm

    allthese stories are just too sad sometimes to read. People can be so selfish, AND THEN THEIR CHILDREN see how they are, and soon become just the same.! You cant just dump animals and pets, and expect them to fend for themselves. It will not work. allways think how you would feel if that was done to you! you must assist them as if they were babies,and get them the care they require. think how good that will make you both feel! JUST DO IT!

    Diane says...

    April 10th, 2009, 2:33 pm

    Thank you for bringing up this very important point. As you stated, just as we would never leave a lost or hurt child, we should never leave an injured animal. To me and my family there is no difference. My son is now 19 and I am proud to say that I raised an animal lover. As parents this is an important responsibility.

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