Personal Inquiry Blog

Friday, October 01, 2004

The "webbing" continues

My email conversations with both of the rehabilitators has been really important to my emotional connection with this project. They have really personalized the issues for me. Both of these women are so committed to protecting animals that it is their job and their leisure activity. Because they did a wonderful job of conveying their emotional connection to these animals, I use their words rather than paraphrasing.

E-mail Conversations with Mindy Poole, wildlife rehabilitator

Have you ever had any experience with owls?

“I have rehabilitated owls, and other birds of prey. At first I feed them ground turkey, chicken or beef. I also offer small chunks of meat.
Owls are meat eaters. For rehabilitation, I try to keep them as close to nature as I possibly can. I keep them in a large outdoor cage with a roof. The cage is hung in trees. I feed them with meat tongs, and never touch them with my bare hands. I like to keep my fingers. As they get stronger I offer them some live mice. When they are well enough to catch the mice, and feed themselves they are ready to be set free.
I continue to offer the fresh meat, and leave it outside the cage when they are set free, so they can return if they need too, but they usually don’t. I have only rehabilitated one adult.”

“The adult Owls are very dangerous to rehabilitate. They try to protect
themselves, hiss, threaten....At first I put meat in the cage and left it alone. He as much to scared to eat in front of me. I used the meat tongs to place the meat in the cage, to protect my hands. I also kept water available at all times.”

How did you learn to rehabilitate animals? Did you take classes or learn from someone else?

“I was raised in the country in a very secluded area. I saved small animals as a child. I actually learned what they need on my own, by watching them in the wild.... If I had a problem I would call a local vet who would tell me what I needed to know. He also gave me a recipe for baby animals which I modify depending if they are meat eaters, or if they eat vegetables...I eventually raised animals for a rehabber, but on my own at my home, and after a couple years got licensed myself so I could save more. I also spend a lot of time with the animals, and have a way of knowing what they want. Some need fed more often...”

“Animals have a way of communicating through their actions, and you can always tell if an animal is healthy or not by looking into its eyes. Just like a child, their eyes sort of look sad if they are not feeling well. I work for Home for Friendless Animals. I am a manager there. is a no-kill animal sanctuary where I work.) My boss says I just have a special touch with he animals. I seem to know there is a problem at a glance. I have a hard time understanding why other people don’t see what I see, just looking into the eyes of an animal. It’s just like looking into the eyes of a friend. You can tell if they are sick, tired, scared, happy.............Animals are just the same.”

I'm going to go ahead and publish this much and then do another posting with Bev's comments.


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