May 30, 2010
Warning to the tender-hearted. You may wish to skip this posting.
We know very well this is not a zoo, but it sure feels like one when I am wrestling the “big boys and girls” who are ready to be completely weaned and taken outside. Their cages are filthy in a flash, they are strong with long nails that grip. Often there are 5 or more in a litter to be moved from the cage to a holding pen, while their world is cleaned up, and refueling is offered. Everything is followed to the letter here. Health and safety procedures, proper care and documentation. An animal couldn’t be blessed with a better place if it has lost its mom. That is, if there is room at the shelter.
When I arrived this afternoon Carol waved me over, so I was fortunate to see the wee fawns basking in the out of doors.
Downstairs, I worked with the raccoons, too busy to take pictures of the “littlest oppossum ever”. At one point Cynthia brought him out for us to see, keeping him warm in her hands, and I swear to God I thought she had a robotic rubber mouse in her hands.
The “big baby” raccoons – ready to be, or already weaned, are super messy. Their cages become a mixed up mess of poop, food and water, and cleaning them is a bending, lifting, hoisting, work-out. They are so healthy and robust though. It was so hot the sweat was dripping out of my latex gloves when I lifted my hands up.
At one point Carol took a call and told a young woman in Whitby that she could bring in three orphans she had been trying to help, but was overwhelmed with. Carol said to us that she thought she’d be in trouble, but my feeling was she’d made a decision, and that would be okay. Well, it wasn’t. There were to be no more raccoons, as we were at our limit and have been for weeks. When people have to come from an hour or two away, and there is no other facility within or around the city of Toronto to rehabilitate an orphan, it is no wonder we are inundated with calls for animals that cannot be accepted. The poor girl coming from Whitby was to be turned away as there was no way to contact her. Her raccoons if left here were to be euthanized. We were all heartbroken. Yes, Carol was supposed to say no more raccoons, but now they’re here?! When we have everything they need. Carol disappeared, very upset. As I left I saw one of the littlest babies being examined. I am hoping a change of heart took place – I will look for the three, admitted this day – I’m praying – next week.