Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Skunk Story

Thanks for all your room sharing advice. I was a bit surprised, because not one person selected the option toward which I was leaning, and most people selected an option that I wasn't considering at all: putting the two boys together right from the start. with that, at least I feel like I should have that option on the table. Feel free to chime in if you haven't already.

We're trying to make a trip to my mom's, trying to get past another round of illness (argh!), and trying to wrap our heads around a lot of hard stuff that has happened in the last few weeks to some we love. So my head is everywhere, and I'm just going to tell you about another skunk issue.

Our live-in skunk has been "excluded," as they call it, and our porch has been protected from more residents for the time being. I've heard from at least 4 neighbors on our cul-de-sac that they've had resident skunks of their own, so it's obviously a neighborhood problem.

Yesterday I was on the phone with my Granny, and I looked out the front window to see two boys across the street playing in their yard, and a fat cat-sized skunk moving strangely around in the broad daylight within a few feet of them. It immediately struck me as odd and terrifying, so I got off the phone and stepped out onto the porch, right as the boys noticed the skunk and screamed their bloody heads off. I yelled over to them to slowly move inside and tell their mom to come out. Meanwhile, the skunk was behaving very strangely: unbothered by the kids and the yelling, limping very slowly around and looking confused. Honestly, it looked like it was dying. I had read some online during our own skunk problems about the behavior of skunks with rabies, and this scared me a bit. So I immediately tried to call Animal Control.

Except here's the thing. Did you know there is no longer such a thing as Animal Control? I called several places and was told that, "no government funded offices address animal related issues any longer," and that the days of animal control are gone by the wayside. They said that I'd have to hire a private company, like we just did, to remove it.

Eventually I was directed to the Ohio Wildlife Foundation (?), and they were actually concerned and knowledgeable. This whole time I was still watching the skunk limping around in the front yard across the street. After maybe 10 minutes, it wandered under someone's deck out of sight.

So the funny part: The Wildlife Foundation told me that unfortunately, the only way they could help was if I brought the skunk into their office. I literally laughed out loud. I can just see me, skittish around household mice, capturing a sick, possibly rabid skunk and then putting it in my car to drive to some unknown location. With led me to the question: are there some people who would?

The folks at The Foundation were very kind and helpful, and I understand that with funding the way it is these days, cuts have to be made and that probably makes sense. And I don't know what I wanted them to do, exactly, I was just feeling nervous that this sick animal was wandering around so close to kids in the neighborhood, and there was nothing we could do about it. I guess that's just the way it is.


Weed said...

That's both humorous and disturbing at the same time....

We had a similar situation about two years ago with a bat, and after calling everywhere, found that there is no one to call, unless you want to hire a private company, who doesn't guarantee that they'll catch it (but you still have to pay them for their time). So my husband had to destroy the bat himself, because the after hours fee was too outrageous for us, and it was evening. We would've much rather have been humane about it.

bluedaisy said...

That IS disturbing and I definitely would not be one to capture a skunk unless I had some equipment or something to work with. The township I live in does have an "animal control" type of person. My parents called them a few years ago when an aggressive turkey was making impossible for any of us to go in/out of our house (he was looking to mate). His favorites were my neighbor (who was pregnant at the time) and me- I have pics of the turkey sleeping next to my joke!

Charity said...

You need Teenage-Charity to fix this problem. ;-)