North East Wildlife Animal Rehabilitation Coalition is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization. We are a group of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, and these are the tales of the injured and orphaned animals we care for until they are able to be released back into the wild.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh happy fox sighting!

I am sooooo happy to report a very happy, foxy update! I haven't seen my fox that I've been baiting with ivermectin for mange in a while....and I feared the worst. Thanks to one of my very attentive boys, Marley, I was alerted to a visitor this past Friday morning. And there it was....hanging out right under the window, as if to say look at me now...I'm lookin' good!

The face and legs are still a little sparse and scruffy looking, and you can see the bare spots on the legs where the mange had originally set in....
But look at that beautiful back side! Lots of new, beautiful fur growth on the butt above the tail where it had been bare, and a nice fluffy tail!

And the fur on the face and under the chin and chest.....growing in! That's a fur coat that will get it through a cold winter now and I'm thrilled.
On the down side, there had been a second one hanging around as much worse shape and I have not seen that one in a while either. It was a little more skittish and I generally only got a look at that one on the game camera at night. However that has been broken for a while and I have not been able to monitor as well. I can only hope maybe it is doing as well, but since it was not as common a visitor during the day I'm just not aware of it's condition. In the meantime I will continue to treat them as best I can and hope to enjoy their visits for a long time to come!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Special thanks for special gifts.

Anyone who has been to my house has seen first hand that, yes, I am pretty much as crazy about raccoon decor as I am the actual beast! I have to give a great big shout out and thank you to a couple of people who have made my favorite things!
A friend of my Mom's, Carol Warren, made this beautiful quilt for Mom & Dad to give me for my birthday!  FINALLY I found the right hangers to get it up on the wall in my great room. The picture does not do it justice...its amazing! Dad has to cut some birch trees down that keep blocking my driveway when it snows so when he does I will be selecting a lovely branch from that to replace the dowel in use here. (As you can see it's not just coonies I decorate with! Notice the squirrel hangers.)

It is amazing and even has a lovely message on the back. Have I mentioned before that my parents are the best!? Rascal was my very first baby, and the rehab that started me on my path to wildlife rehabilitation. He's the reason for my love of raccoons and the reason behind the name Rascal Rescue for my rehab. (at least until we combine and become a 501c3!) Basically he's the one that started it all.
Thanks Carol for such a lovely quilt!

Now on to my absolute most favorite curtains!! Thanks so much to Mamie, Laurie and Lisa's mom, for what could only be the most perfect curtains for the home of a raccoon obsessed wildlife rehabilitator! LOL They are amazing and again, the picture just does not do them justice!
They absolutely make the room! I love them so much....thanks Mamie!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Update on Boston the ARL rescue.

Here is the lucky boy. Is he handsome or what! He's pretty relaxed and tolerant of long as I'm not poking, prodding or trying to spray smelly granulex on his leg!

Here is the result of having you leg stuck and hanging from it with all of your body weight for a long period of time! Aside from the nerve damage, the major swelling after having the limb unstuck leads to wounds like this. I know it looks pretty bad, but in all actuality they look good for this type of wound! The tissue is nice and pink and alive and there is a healthy blood supply to the area.
And...if you look closely in this picture you can see his other rear leg as he proceeds to step out of the den box. Why is that so exciting you may ask? Well because while he's lifting that leg to step out, he's using his injured one to stand on, and it's in the proper position with no toes knuckling under! He's using the foot and leg! Wooohooooo!
The full extent of it's use will not be known for sure until a lot of healing has occurred and nerve damage takes time and for now I am optimistic that Boston will continue to recover after a long layover here in the safety of his pen. Lucky for him also,  Brian from the ARL realized he needed more than just getting unstuck and sent on his way. Nice job Brian and thanks for getting him here!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I almost forgot...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know my gang did thanks to Woburn Animal Hospital and the cases of canned dog food they donated!! Even the wild gang out there ate like Kings and Queens...a rare treat for sure. Thanks so much guys!!

A prickly situation!

This past Monday, Laurie got a call for something we don't see to often around here....a porcupine! Lucky for me she was busy and I was I got take the cutie pie in! Poor little's a young one and it is pretty ataxic. (Ataxia: Wobbliness. Uncoordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and regulate the strength and direction of limb movements. Ataxia is usually a consequence of disease in the brain, specifically in the cerebellum which lies beneath the back part of the cerebrum.)
 Poor thing has a few tics and you can also see some trichodectes louse mixed in there, a normal load of which is normal for these guys. It is beleived they play a role in maintaining thier skin health.
 I only had the little guy for the night though. Laurie and Lisa brought it to Tuft's the next morning to get checked out.

It got a full workup. X-Rays showed no problems and there are no signs of trauma. We initially thought it was possibly hit by a car. They are still awaiting some tests results, but one possibility they are leaning towards is roundworm. Unfortunately if that is the case there is no chance of recovery and it will only get worse. So for now, it's getting supportive care and all we can do is wait and see. If it's roundworms it will continue to get worse, if not it should improve with that's what we're giving it! Luckily if the little fella has a chance, he's also got a great place to go and recover...Dee and Tom at Urban Wildlife in Springfield have experience with these prickly critters and will give it the best possible care! Lets all hope for the best for this little quill pig!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cold weather gear & River's gang.

As the weather gets colder I end up bundling up in warmer clothes to go out and take care of the kids. My favorite is my coon skin keeps my head so warm! I love it! Sometimes it gets too warm though and I have to take it off....

.....or it just gets hungry and crawls off into the food bucket! LOL!!! Silly River!
Up until this past month I could always rely on River and the kids showing up when I went out to feed the gang. Sometimes they were a little impatient I think too! I would come out and find them already waiting....snoozing away waiting for the sound of the shed door opening and food getting scooped into a bucket. sweet.
Now they are acting like normal sign of them until after dark. Howell the boy hasn't been with them in a while either. Probably hanging with the bachelors by now. A few days ago when I went out looking for them with some treats River and the girls came in with Ringer. It appears they may be hanging out together quite a bit now. They couldn't have a better guide to show them the ropes out there....she's the queen of the woods!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The squirrels & the new boy gets a name.

How could I forget to update you on the squirrels! *Sigh* aging mind is not as sharp as it used to be! My gang of 12.....including little Acorn and a slew of JoAnn's babies, are romping the woods and loving it! It's going to be a bad year food-wise for rodents, and these guys were a little later getting released than I would like due to so many babies and waiting their turn in a release pen. But fear not! The release pens are remaining open for them to utilize as needed through the winter and unlike the releases before them that eventually ventured off to make their own nests in the woods, these guys do not seem to be in a big hurry to do so! Many are still returning at night to sleep. And as you can see below, they have also figured out where they can find a good meal every day too!

Some of the gang will still grab a nut or two from my hands also. Walnut especially still loves his Momma!

The funny thing is when I'm out by the release pen they won't come up to me to get their nuts....they go run into the release pen and wait for me inside by the door. Why you may ask? Well, when they were being formula fed, I would feed each one then put them into a different cage to wait until everyone was done. With such a large group it was the only way to know who was fed already and who wasn't. Plus as they get older they are a little more jumpy and harder to catch. So when they were all fed in the other cage I needed to make it easier to get them back into the main pen without them all getting loose in the room and impossible to catch! I would then get one nut, and one at a time hand them a nut which they would take then scoot back into the main pen. Now they are sort of trained! They think to get their nut they have to go to the door! So instead of just coming up to me outside....they run inside to the door! LOL! Don't let anyone ever tell you they are not smart and can not be trained!
Pretty soon my gang will start filling out and look like the wild gang out there....big, fat, porkers! Look how round he is! The picture does not do the portliness of this guy justice. Putting it bluntly....I have some fat ass squirrels out there! As you can see the acorn shortage will not be a problem for the squirrels of my acquaintance.

A check this morning of the island release site revealed no coonies....and no food! They're coming back for regular visits to eat but they have apparently found new homes elsewhere. Our babies are all growed' up!
The rest of the overwinters are fine. The new boy the ARL had rescued that was stuck in the notch of a tree is doing well. It is still unsure how well he will recover or if he'll get the use of his leg back. The swelling and nerve damage have caused some sores and sloughing of skin on the top of his foot and on the inside of his knee. He's on antibiotics and although the wounds look pretty bad, they are actually doing well. The tissue is pink and healthy and bleeds occasionally which means it is not necrotic ( or dead), meaning it the tissue is alive and healthy and there is good circulation to it. It is just going to take some time to heal. Then the issue will be the extent of the nerve damage....will he be able to use the leg again. It's going to be a long haul for this guy, but he's eating well, his spirits are good, and he's got a safe place to take as long as he needs to recover! I am hoping for the best...something only time will tell.
I had put off naming him, not knowing his fate. However as it seems he may be around for a while...a friend has taken to calling him Boston for lack of a better name from Boston it is V! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get 'em while their hot!

The new cafe press 2011 babies calendar is here! I gotta tell ya it's tough narrowing it down to 13 pictures....we need about 20 more months in the year! LOL
I'm thinking next year, if I get my act together early enough, maybe I'll have all you wonderful supporters out there pick your favorite pictures from the season and we can all vote for the top 13 to go into the calendar. What do ya think? After all, it's your favorite furrbutts that should be in there! I'm also going to look into other printing options like vistaprint or something where I can add a little more flair and descriptions to them so they are not so plain....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NO cruelty in Billerica!!

Over the past few day I have been totally inundated with calls and emails regarding a post on craigslist!! Here is the original post (posted along with 2 pics of about 3 big, fat, healthy looking raccoons in the back corner of the dumpster) followed by 2 responses. 

Cruelty in Billerica (Billerica)

Date: 2011-11-09, 8:08PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
There is a new daycare center on Treble Cove Drive in Billerica that has been trapping raccoons in their rubbish bins....whilst leaving their rotting garbage outside.

We have saved the poor creatures on a daily basis for the past six months.... placing boards and blankets into the bins to allow them to escape. This evening, the (out of state) staff would not allow the poor creatures to be released, and instead, called the local police to establish their "right" to trap and kill the racoons.

We would appreciate any ideas or assistance you could offer. This is entirely NOT acceptable! These are innocent animals, lured into bins by piles of open garbage. The animals in Billerica have lived side by side with our community for over 400 years, and now that a turnkey daycare centre has interloped into our midst...... all wildlife must die??

The Daycare Centre is located on Treble Cove Road & Biagiotti Wy in Billerica!

We need some ideas and some kind thoughtful people!

God Bless you All!

Location: Billerica

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

RE:Cruelty Billerica Daycare Raccoons (Billerica)

Date: 2011-11-15, 7:56PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
I emailed them with some suggestions.

Maybe if enough people contact them, they will see how serious this is and do something about it.

I am a dog lover and have a petsitting business in Chelmsford, so it's disturbing to see a local company being cruel to animals.

The kids' safety is also a huge concern.


Location: Billerica

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 2695882422

Re:RE:Cruelty in Billerica (child care takers ???)

Date: 2011-11-16, 7:47AM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
are you kidding me and these people are taking care of peoples children , you know what they say about animal abusers they move on to abuse the people , I would try and shut them down, rotten jerks , maybe they should be shut in a garbage dumpster for awhile to freeze n die

Location: child care takers ???

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 2705093406

Let me set the record straight!
I have obviously looked into this, being my hometown and all! I can assure you all there is no cruelty whatsoever going on here! They are not trapping and killing these raccoons and they are not intentionally letting them get stuck in there and leaving them there to die. It is a simple and EVER SO COMMON problem.....the raccoons get into the dumpster for the tasty scraps in the garbage and when the pile in there is low, they get stuck and cannot get out. This happens all the time in dumpsters everywhere!

I am on very good terms with Billerica Animal Control. They are VERY proactive when it comes to wildlife, having gone above and beyond many times to help local wildlife. Many a fox, bunny, squirrel or raccoon has been brought to me after being rescued by them. They are aware of the location and have assisted the employees, having them call when raccoons are discovered in there. And every time they have responded that day and simply done what everyone does when finding raccoons stuck in the dumpster.....put a board in to allow them to climb out and escape!!
I am all for protecting the rights and humane treatment of animals obviously! But this has gotten a little out of control with people jumping to conclusions before digging deeper into the issue to find out what the whole story is. Investigate before you lash out, or contact the proper animal welfare authorities to look into it before going on the attack.
For those concerned about coonies that get stuck in dumpsters for a day or so, a little about how they work. This time of year they have packed on tons of extra body fat. Their bodies are designed to do this so during winter, when food is scarce and the weather it to bad to venture out in, they can hole up somewhere where they will go into a state of torpor. Their systems will slow down and they can live off their body fat for a month or more, on top of being living furnaces and staying quite warm!  So with the exception of being stuck in there when the dumpster is being dumped, or hot summer days that lead to obvious dehydration or overheating problems, a raccoon is more likely to be happy as a pig in shit, if you will, being stuck in a big box with daily take out delivery for a day or so than suffering!  ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chicken Little fits right in.

Happy Veterans Day to all the brave men and woman who have served and sacrificed for our country!

Well, Chicken Little is just the cutest thing! She reminds me quite a bit of Pip. She's very petite, gets along with everyone, but don't mess with her food! Seeing as she spends a lot of time standing upright, it's safe to say her leg has healed just fine. No sign of a limp anymore and for real.....she spends a lot more time on 2 legs than 4 when I go in there.
I think it's because she's so little and surrounded by a mob of bigger coons, she had to resort to ways to make me notice her more when treats are being doled out.
But could I not notice such a cutie pie!
Cooper has lost his place as the smallest one in there, but he's a close runner up.
Once the tub o' grub arrives, everyone grabs their morsel of choice, runs to their own little space (so as not to have to share said morsel) and settles in for dinner.
Some of these guys had quite a growth spurt over this past month and are big enough to go now, but it's too late in the season. So lucky them, they get pampered for a few months more until I boot them out in the spring. Although Pebbles and Porcelain here were actually big enough to go earlier, they have been held over due to their mycoplasma issues. No re-occurrences since the last one, they are fine, but just a precaution. I fully anticipate them to be released in the spring with everyone else.

An example of how little Chicken is compared to Porcelain.
Two of the boys have an epic battle over a chicken leg...of course there were plenty more in there, but they each had to have THAT one!
Meanwhile the girls were smart enough to realize....there's a whole bucket of chicken here! No need to fight over it!
*Sigh*...those silly boys!
Please come back and visit soon!
Preferably with treats! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Update on the new kid.

The new kid brought in by the ARL Boston has settled in pretty well. A big, fat juvenile, in great shape and pretty calm and laid back considering the changes that have occurred in his life these past couple days! No problem getting around the cage and eating well (always a good sign). Right now the lower leg is too swollen to ascertain the damage, so at this time he's just getting meloxicam for the pain and inflammation. Once the swelling has gone down enough it will allow for a better exam of the leg and foot so we can proceed accordingly with treatment. For now, he's living the high life while he has me waiting on him hand and foot!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What a week!

Well it's been a long, horrible week! We had a pretty destructive nor'easter snowstorm last Saturday. My power (thus my heat etc.) was out from Saturday night until Tuesday afternoon, at which time I ended up in bed sick as a dog. After a trip to the ER Friday morning, (thanks sooooo much to my wonderful brother who wasted his morning taking me there!), I finally only feel like shit as opposed to wishing someone would put me out of my misery! Thanks to Mom and Dad for special deliveries of chicken soup and medicine and I can't thank JoAnn enough for coming over to take care of the hoard (and me!)when I was definitely in no shape was no small undertaking for sure!!

Being sick this weekend meant I had to miss our annual trip to the New York wildlife conference! I am so bummed I missed a fun weekend with the gang! I hope you had some extra fun for me while you were there.
Before all hell broke loose last weekend, Laurie and I took a trip over to the island Saturday morning to check on the gang. To our surprise there were a few there! Trooper, Doc and Sis were very happy to have a visit from mom! I think Doc and Sis have decided to make this their hangout, seems like we always run into them and an occasional sleepover with some of the others.

One of the boat babies and Sammy were a little less thrilled to see us, but it was good to see them! They all look great.

And finally, last night I got out of bed long enough to settle this poor coonie in. It's leg was stuck in the crook of the tree in Worcester and it was hanging there all day, poor thing! ARL to the rescue again! Nice job getting him out Brian! Once we get that leg checked out we'll see whats in store for this one.