Saturday, March 2, 2013

And So It Begins

There was a time in my life, before Quinn was born, that I was a wildlife rehabber.
That was 14+ years ago.
I primarily took in baby squirrels.

I know, I know---"tree rats".
But you know what, rehabbing is often just as much about the human who found the animal, as it is about the animal.
Saving an animal brings out the good in humanity.  It makes us feel benevolent.  
Heck, it makes children go "aaawww".  
It's a teaching tool.  
A parent who rescues a baby bunny from the family cat and brings it to a rehabber is watched closely by their child.  
"How do I treat animals?" is no longer a question.

So, down off my soapbox.  Tree rats or not, I'll take 'em and do the best I can.

I have reentered the life of a rehabber.  
Long hours, no pay, middle of the night feedings, life and death, scratches and bites. 
I'm ready.

This little cottontail rabbit weighs 51 grams.  That's 1.8 ounces.  He is approximately 10 days old.
He eats 5-8 ccs of a special formula, twice a day.

In all honesty, it's unlikely he's going to make it.  
Cottontails are notoriously difficult to rehab.  
Their gut flora is very exact.  Momma's milk is best. 
He was also brought in by someone's cat.  Cat saliva is pretty toxic.  
Infection is common and deadly.

We'll see.  
Time will tell.  
He did eat, and he's warm again.  
If he dies, at least he'll have died safe and quiet and with a full tummy.

Update: This little bunny died early in the evening of the day I received him.  Like most cottontails kits, he was (seemingly) doing fine and then was dead.


  1. So good of you and as you said- It shows your children that every life matters!! We found two baby squirrels, eyes not open yet and raised them and let them go in the back yard. I had heard that baby rabbits are difficult to keep alive. Good luck and God bless!

    1. Hi Suzan, good job on the squirrels! They really are fun.

  2. I have always wanted to be an animal rehab-er. Two Thumbs up for you. Cat saliva is even toxic to me... I hope the little one can make it.


    1. Linda, you could be a rehabber. It's getting folks to bring the animals to your farm that would be the hardest part. I am being (re)mentored by a licensed rehabber. I work under her number.
      As for cat saliva---it's the Komodo dragon spit of the domesticated animal world. If a cat has broken the skin on the animal, we usually put it down. No sense torturing it with antibiotics and having it die anyway.

  3. Thank you for taking the baby bunny in and trying to rehab him. I do volunteer work at the local animal shelter and work primarily with rabbits so it means a lot to me when someone helps rabbits. So sorry the baby didn't make it. But better he died safe and warm than being eaten by a cat.

    1. Linda, you're a better woman than me. I could never work at a shelter. That's where you often see the worst humanity has to offer animals. I'd want to chase people into the parking lot and strangle them for thinking they can throw pets away or abuse them (or both). Thanks for doing what I can't do!

  4. That's awesome that you do that! Have you met Lisa?