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Wild animals being kept as pets

Posted by africanvioletlvr (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 19, 06 at 23:12

I would like to see some views without criticizing me. I have been criticized greatly on the birdwatching forum about keeping a Mourning Dove i rescued after it fell from a nest. Some people go all out crazy about any wild creature of any type being kept in captivity.

My opinion? If it needs rescuing...rescue it. If it is something the cat would have gotten to in a few seconds if I didn't find it...well, then it is probably something I'm going to try to care for myself. The following I always try rehabbing myself: lizards, toads, birds, voles, all those small things. Things I would DEFINATELY find a rehabber for: baby deer, opposum, raccoon (i wouldn't even pick these guys up...let alone get near it), endangered species like Blue Birds. Some people are raised different from others. I'm raised in an area where people do these things themselves. I'm not in a big city where a person can get to my house in less than an hour to gather up the wild animal. so anyway, I rescued a dove. It is now at least 2, maybe 3 months old. She is happy, healthy, etc. she's also not a very bright animal, I might add. She doesn't try to escape like she wants to be free either. In fact, she enjoys living with me. It's what she knows. If she hadn't imprinted on me and hadn't gotten over her fear of dogs...I'd probably release her, but for now and probably for always she will be "a pet". If I think her quality of life had diminished living indoors than I will risk all and set her free and hope for her best. But for now, she is the sweetest, most loveable little bird who likes to snooze on my desk and peck at my teeth.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Why don't you give her the choice? If she truly is bonded with you and doesn't want to be free, she will hang out with you outside and come back inside when you do. :-)


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

beeanne,

You are expecting the bird to react with the instincts that she would have had if she'd been raised truly in the wild, which is not the case. My brother and sister in law found a dove (not native) which was so tame they guessed that she had been someone's pet. They kept her until they got tired of her and released her to make her own decision. Initially she flew away but didn't have a clue as to where to go, and two weeks later (she'd obviously tried to go free and failed) they found her battered body, neck broken, as she had repeatedly tried, as evidenced by the marks on the glass, to fly through the garage window to get back to the cage she had known as home. I don't think dying was her choice.

If the animal in question was endangered, I would agree with you that she should be given the chance to live free. However, there are organizations, like the Raptor Center in Minnesota, that do their best to rehabilitate birds, but recognize that there are those who are too injured or too dependent upon humans that will never be able to live in the wild. The concept of freedom and choice for these animals is not an option.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

I know how it is with birds and breaking their necks. I had a mockingbird who I was waiting to get all his feathers in before I set him free. He was bonded with me, but I knew he needed to be free. He always flew to my window and would look out with this forlorn expression. Well, he was always an early bird and one morning I didn't hear him tweeting in his cage and I looked and saw he had broken his neck. I was really upset because within the week I probably would have set him free. My dove is nothing like Windswept the mockingbird. If Autumn asks to get out the cage she comes straight over to my computer desk. (She is actually up here dozing at the moment) Windy wanted to be free and it was very obvious. Autumn is content with just sleeping on a desk and getting close to me when she's on my shoulder.

Baby Windswept
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Young Autumn
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Windy a few days before he died
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Autumn now
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I rescued a bird with some eye infection. I cleared up the eyes for it and released it because it was an adult and needed to be free. 2 days later my cat had it in her mouth and was carrying it to the porch.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

What a pretty dove! I have an online friend that rescued a male cardinal under a similar situation, she had him for nearly 7 years if memory serves me correctly. Much, much longer than he would have survived in the wild I would guess. He had a great life with her, he flew about the house, bathed in her goldfish tank and was part of the family.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

If there is a reason that an animal cannot be rehabbed and released, then I don't usually have a problem with it being kept as a pet or education animal. I do NOT under any circumstances think that taking a healthy wild animal and keeping it in captivity is right though. Wild animals are needed in the wild, not in a home.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

My question would be could that dove fend for its self in the wild? Find food. Fear cats and other animals? If not, I'd say let her be happy where she is now.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Your dove would probably not make it in the wild now. so don't feel bad abt it. She is better off with you.

I think doves are related to pidgeons and they are a sociable lot. So she is most likely very happy. I do know doves mate for life.
Don't really beleive in taming most wild animals but rescueing is another matter completely. I could'nt stand by and watch something die without trying to help.
So if you feel right about saving that dove don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
oakleif


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Hi
Be very careful about keeping wild birds as pets. All songbirds in the US come under the mtgratory bird act.
The only legal procedure is to turn the bird over to a licensed rehabber. There are some big fines depending on the specie. Many doves fall under upland game birds and a license is required to shoot them .Not sure about kepping them lol.
To the best of my knowledge the only birds that can be kept are non native species.
Don't let kindness lead to a big fine lol
gary


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Hi,

I found a featherless baby sparrow on Memorial Day. I'm in a heavy feral cat area, so after waiting for 30 minutes for a parent to tend to it, I brought it home with me.

It lives outside now, but comes in frequently to visit and eat Cheerios. I prop my back door open on nice days for my dogs to go in and out---and the sparrow does the same. It sits on my head, taps on the computer keyboard, and uses the bathrom like her 'jungle gym,'

I talked with the DNR and told them about the sparrow a week after I found her. I didn't want to do the 'wrong thing...' (whatever that might be). They were really nice about it and directed me to a store in town where I could take her for identification (I didn't know what type she was since she was so young) and buy her proper food. The DNR suggested I bond with her as little as possible and give her every opportunity to be free.

I did! When I took my dogs for a walk, she went with us, sitting on my shoulder. I moved her bedding outside once she had feathers. She came with us a weekend trip 250 miles away (this was right as she was learning to fly), and I gave her tons of opportunities to say "Yes, I want to live here."

Nope, she kept coming right back to me.

She lives outside, and visits the neighbors when they are watering their garden or having cocktails. It's been a few months, and she seems to have no desire to leave the 'hood. The neighbors laugh--she prefers graham crackers over saltines, she doesn't like mango...and she's been a great teaching tool for the little kids who want to see a bird up close. She's a delight!

My advice is...do the 'right thing.' (Yes, deliberately vague) Good luck.

PS: I loved the pictures someone else posted. Lovely!


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Thanks for the comments and I'm happy some people understand my situation. This bird would be dead if I hadn't brought it inside that morning. I was lucky my dog was pestering it and not my cat! My cat would have turned the dove into a toy and killed it real quick-like. I read up on Mourning Doves and I think Autumn is a female. She does remind me a lot of a pigeon. She is very social, but not that bright. My dad happens to love going dove hunting. However, he loves the little bird to death. While I was reading up on them I discovered they can live 17 years! Who'd have known? I have a feeling an outdoor life now would be a 1 week lifespan. So, she's just part of the family now. If she is around in a few years when I move out I may construct a large enclosure for her so she can flutter around as much as she likes. I personally do not like seeing God's gift of flight not being used on birds. She gets to fly around some in our bonus room each day and stuff to keep her active and going.

On another note, I'm not sure what the DNR or whatever would say about me having the bird. I think they wouldn't care if they saw her. She isn't stressed or anything. Just a very naive bird who likes to hop around on her three level cage and stuff. I'm in college studying Natural Resources Management. So, I'm around people who would tell me "That's illegal! Give it to a sanctuary!" and I haven't had a person say that yet.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

This is not an opinion or even debatable: To keep a wild bird is against the a law. Not my law, but state and federal law. Just because your family has been violating that law does not make it ok. Just because people think what you do is ok or cute does not make it right.

Raising baby birds improperly basically kills them after they are released, if they ever are released. If they lack fear of people, they will die from getting grabbed by the wrong person or by another predator. If they do not have the right food when growing up, their organs and feathers do not develop properly, and they go off and die an early death.

There are, in fact, wildlife rehabilitators that know way more than you do, and can do better for the animals you "care" for, in that they can provide better food, better medical care, and ultimately, freedom, which is what wild animals deserve.

How do I know this? I was an avian rehbilitator for over 10 years and read and went to classes and seminars and learned from people who know about the subject. I worked hard to learn about diets and medicine and how to treat injuries. So I know a bit about this subject.

What you are doing serves your self and your ego. Not the birds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Migratory Bird Treaty Act


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Laws?

There are laws that are meant to protect, but there are usually situations in which those laws can be broken, without harm to anyone.

Does one have to walk 50 miles to a crosswalk to cross the road in the desert- no cars to be seen for 3 miles either way- or is it okay to jaywalk? Law protects a fragile 17 year 364 day 23 hour 59 minute and 59 second body from the deadly effects of cigarettes, but one second later, that person is all of a sudden so different that smoking now becomes acceptable? Then that person flies over to Japan and now can't smoke until 20?! For hundreds of years in the US, it was illegal for couples of different races to get married, and if they were able to get married, it was illegal for them to have sex or children. What? So that was morally right THEN but now all of a sudden it's racism?

There are many laws that are designed to protect but they are in NO WAY the penultimate, unbreakable rules that define all morals on Earth. One must use their judgement, and if judgement calls for the breaking of a law, for the betterment of the parties involved in the law breaking, with no harm to others, so be it.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Thats a good response World Peace.
I tend to not think too much of a lot of rehaber types; they do a service for sure and a lot of times at their own financial xpense and I thank them for their service. but the also tend to be Holieir than thou and too damned judgemental. I have had experiences with a couple and wont again. They cam be meddlesome and troublemaking when their is really no need to be.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

I have personally seen many well meaning, poorly skilled, poorly informed people kill birds in the name of saving them. "I was only trying to help. I did the best I can."

Many people would not think twice about driving an hour to go shopping, but to drive a wild animal to get real help? Nahh.

The laws were instated to protect the wildlife that was being destroyed by ill-meaning and ignorant people, who still thrive today. Without experience and education on certain subjects, you cannot have judgement. And who are you to make decisions about the good of a wildling? No one should be casual about the life of a wild thing.

This girl already confessed to killing a mockingbird due to her incompetence. There is probably a big plot in her backyard where all her little "pets" that died of her inexperience are buried. That's not how you learn rehab.

Laws are not for your convenience, for your decision to break as you see fit, especially when you are ignorant of their subject.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

That Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is quite broad ranging. You can be fined for posessing a feather or nest of a protected species among other things. I had an environmental law enforcement class taught by a retired deep cover agent from USFWS he listed all the bird related items he used as probable cause to initiate searches, things the average person would never ever think twice about picking up.

As for my experience with wild animals, when I was very young we had a place out in the woods on a lake. One night on our way home we happened upon a freshly killed raccoon on the roadside, my father saw something on the roadside and pulled over. It was a teeny tiny baby coon. We took it home, my father took a chunk of hollow log, made a nest of leaves and grasses, put in a dark colored stuffed animal and put the coon in there on the back porch. He fed it, with a bottle for a time if memory serves, then later we fed it crawfish, fish and other stuff. Bobby we called him. He stayed around for some time, always lived on an open back porch in that nest and got quite large. He would ride my fathers shoulder.

Funniest thing was giving him a sugar cube and watching him run to the lake to wash it, as he did with all food, he would get so upset searching around for that cube after it dissolved and scolding us; perhaps for teasing him.

A female came around and he left. We would see him periodically, he would approach but never too close. Pretty sure my dad said we "had" him for two years and he came around intermittantly for another three or four years. He was fully capable of fending for himself.

I have another good story about a Robin I raised a few years back but have to go. Maybe later.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

i am mostly of the opinion that we should stay out of it. if a bird falls from a nest, let nature take its course. the bird will live or die. sounds a little cold and cruel, but that is what happens if no one is there to intervene.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Most times we should "stay out of it." However, I don't always and have never regretted it.
Last time was at a shopping center after a storm the night before. On the side walk was two dead flattened baby birds just starting to feather. Near by was a live one just sitting by a trash can. I didn't even hesitate, I picked him up and home I went. It was a starling and I released him when he was old enough. Had I not picked him up and at least tried, I would not have been able to sleep that night.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

and you broke no laws, since they are not native! Starlings are said to make fairly good pets.
I think they can learn to talk. Anybody know?


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

I know :-) And believe me, every time I've raised a "legal" bird, I've been tempted to keep it.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

So, did he talk for you?


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Oh, I never had any that long. I released as soon as they were ready to leave. Like you, I've heard they can be taught to talk, but haven't witnessed it.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

I started at 12 with a young flying squirrel that had been blown out of his nest. He was starting to grow fur and we kept him alive with a doll bottle, condensed milk, baby vitamins and a heating pad. Called "Squeaky", he lived with us until the call of the wild lured him back to the trees. He slept between my feet at night, ate off the dinner table after the family finished and loved ice cream. He made a nest with Kleenex in a cubbyhole of the roll top desk that was stored in my room. He always had access to the outside through the sliding doors and even after he left he would sometimes come back in to "clean" the table.
Lots of personality in a small package!!!
Nowadays, I confine myself to doing snake rescues and even have the Sheriffs Dept. calling me in to help. Funny where life takes you!


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Nice story Steve. From a little squirrel to snake rescue. Yes, we never know where life will lead us. I bet the squirrel was glad he came into your life first. :-)


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

The squirrel didn't have a choice : )

That's where informed, thinking people come in. I'm not saying leave things to die. I am saying there are skilled wildlife rehabilitators who are educated in these matters.

Condensed milk? Ice cream? Bad nutrition. Poor bones and muscles. Short lives. Not what mama squirrel provides.

Nice stories. Whatever.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

I'm guilty of rescuing little critters. My most recent find was a baby squirrel lying motionless on my sidewalk last May. I nudged him with my toe and he moved...so, I brought him in and stuck him under my shirt. He was quite cold, but warmed up quickly and I soon realized I would have to get some fluids into him until I could bring him to the wildlife re-hab people the next morning. Found a syringe and fed him gatoraide and brought him in the next morning. Do you have any wildlife re-hab folks in your area? They are licensed to care for wild critters and rear them without the animal becoming attached, then release them into the wild when they are old enough to fend for themselves.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

African violet..don't worry I won't critizize you. My problem is w/ the people who see an animal or bird in distress and do nothing. One is either an animal person or not..I have raised many over the years..one of my first being a baby raccooon . When my husband, a forester, cut a tree down this baby racccoon fell out. He was six weeks old. He brought him home and he lived w/ us for three years. He lived out doors in a shed and rode in the car w/ us and played on the kids swing set.Went to school for show and tell, seriously. No one ever said a word and he ran loose w/ 25 little kids all wanting to touch him. Rascal went to the teachers desk and emptied out all her pencils and paperclips. .I raised a baby robin too and brought him in the house in a cage. Then I'd take him outside and he gradually began to fly. He'd fly down on my shoulder and in the fall he left w/ the others. I raised a deer mouse for threee years named Stuey. My DD cat caught it IN their house. I raised a baby squirrel found in the window well. He would curl up in my pocket tee shirt. Once a friend of my friend stopped to see an antique I was selling and she just saw a woman in a tee and shorts when the squirrel jumped five feet onto her shoulder. She was okay w/ it. I let him join all the ones that live in my yard..counted eight today. >>Doves are very dumb but sweet pets. My dd when she was small brought a baby home in her hands . We took it back because it wasn't hurt and was too dumb to move. You're in good company..Thomas Jefferson had a mockingbird, and Theo. Roosevelt had a crow as a pet. I'd love to have one.Geeze and they weren't arrested by the "authorities". Think of Autumn safe and snug in your house depriving some hunter of blowing her brains out. Maybe you'll convert your dad..


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

lily316... due tell. What ever happened to those baby wild animals you took in and kept as pets? What was their final demise?
I am sure we'd all love to know.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

A woman brought me a crow she'd kept for weeks. It could not stand right. Its legs were not straight because she was feeding it dog food, and that lacked the proper calcium for bone formation. The bird could not walk properly. Its feathers did not grow right, not did its wings develop, so it could not fly properly. Metabolic bone disease. Perhaps lily316 would not notice these little things and let those critters go and see them as successful releases?

A duckling people raised on bread was brought to our facility fat as all get go, and adorable. But it could not stand. A few days later it dies. Our vet did a necropsy and discovered that the animal's bones were so weak that its body could not suport its lungs, so the body caved in. It grew on a diet of bread. Perhaps someone else would have released that ducking before they killed it, thinking it did not stand because it needed water.

A man found a nestling Mourning dove. He forced the wrong food into the baby for three weeks before he brought it to our center. Three weeks on the wrong food for a baby bird was enough. We kept the bird for 6 months on the right food, with supplements, but the bird's feathers never grew properly and always broke off, so the bird could not fly.

Nice people saved an American kestrel, a small hawk. They loved it so much, they wanted to keep it forever. But they noticed its legs were wrong. They were bowed. So they brought it to our facility, and sure enough, their deficient diet caused metabolic bone disease. The bowed legs were there to stay, as were sores on the poor birds feet.

And here is an adorable disease offered by raccoons. Not rabies, which (duh) I am sure you are aware of, but a rarer disease. All rehabbers who handle wildlife are very careful of zoonotic diseases and wear gloves, so no one gets sick. (As opposed to bringing it to a school and letting it crawl around children for show and tell.)

Lily, you get rabies vaccines for yourself and all the mammals unfortunate enough to be found by you? Don't you? You get the raccoons distemper vaccines, since it is so common in raccooons?

Again, the choice is: Do I do what is best for the animal, or what is best for me and me ego? Should animals be free, or do I decide to keep them with the rest of my menagerie, so I can feel special?

Here is a link that might be useful: Raccoon roundworm


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RE: Stories

A woman brought me a crow she'd kept for weeks. It could not stand right. Its legs were not straight because she was feeding it dog food, and that lacked the proper calcium for bone formation. The bird could not walk properly. Its feathers did not grow right, not did its wings develop, so it could not fly properly. Metabolic bone disease. Perhaps lily316 would not notice these little things and let those critters go and see them as successful releases?

A duckling people raised on bread was brought to our facility fat as all get go, and adorable. But it could not stand. A few days later it dies. Our vet did a necropsy and discovered that the animal's bones were so weak that its body could not suport its lungs, so the body caved in. It grew on a diet of bread. Perhaps someone else would have released that ducking before they killed it, thinking it did not stand because it needed water.

A man found a nestling Mourning dove. He forced the wrong food into the baby for three weeks before he brought it to our center. Three weeks on the wrong food for a baby bird was enough. We kept the bird for 6 months on the right food, with supplements, but the bird's feathers never grew properly and always broke off, so the bird could not fly.

Nice people saved an American kestrel, a small hawk. They loved it so much, they wanted to keep it forever. But they noticed its legs were wrong. They were bowed. So they brought it to our facility, and sure enough, their deficient diet caused metabolic bone disease. The bowed legs were there to stay, as were sores on the poor birds feet.

And here is an adorable disease offered by raccoons. Not rabies, which (duh) I am sure you are aware of, but a rarer disease. All rehabbers who handle wildlife are very careful of zoonotic diseases and wear gloves, so no one gets sick. (As opposed to bringing it to a school and letting it crawl around children for show and tell.)

Lily, you get rabies vaccines for yourself and all the mammals unfortunate enough to be found by you? Don't you? You get the raccoons distemper vaccines, since it is so common in raccooons?

Again, the choice is: Do I do what is best for the animal, or what is best for me and me ego? Should animals be free, or do I decide to keep them with the rest of my menagerie, so I can feel special?

Here is a link that might be useful: Raccoon roundworm


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Since all of you are so interested in my life and how my rescued wild animals turned out... my raccooon lived a very healthy life till he got caught in a painful trap that a moron trapper put out. It didn't kill him but I had to nurse him back to health. He lived freely outdoors, so he ate what raccoons eat and maybe some treats from us..None of us ever got a disease from him and those little kids who were taught a huge respect for animals have grown up w/ kids of their own who love animals as much as we do and GS wants to be a vet. The robin was fed food recommended by my vet and flew off in the fall when he learned how to fly. I didn't follow him to Florida ,so I don't know how he turned out, but I guess the rest of you would've left him to die in the street where I found him. The mouse was the only one I kept because he had a very bad limp and he lived for three years...a long life for a mouse I would say. I googled and fed him a proper diet , not that it's any of your business and the squirrel is still in my back yard. So are all you busybodies happy now?..Go shoot your self a dove to take out your frustration that all my rescues didn't die a painful death. BTW..I've rescued a lot of cats as well...Anyone have a problem w/ that too??..


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RE: birds

And Elly NJ..I am not an idiot. I have had birds all my life since I was 8 including a 28 year old African Grey parrot. Don't insult my intelligence my insinuating I'd feed a bird or duck bread..And the raccoon story occurred decades ago. I don't go looking for wildlife to satisfy my ego. I have enough rescued cats to do that..But I will never turn a blind eye to an animal in distress. I have a cat sitting beside me now that I wish I didn't have. She followed me home on a snowy night two years ago at this time. I put her in my garden house w/ a heater because DUH, I would not let any animal in contact w/ my cats until it was tested. When she tested okay I brought her in. She was starving to death weighing under seven pounds. Unfortunately she now weighs 17 and is a prima donna. Another rescued mother cat who had kittens under my porch and Izzy hate each other w/ great intensity. When I took Izzy to be neutered and found she already was, I realized she was dumped probably because she didn't get along well w/ others. She's not a cat I'd pick but she's very nice to people and not one who would be adopted so I keep her and cope...


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Is the baby really an orphan?

Each year (especially in the Spring), many people call us who have found a baby bird or mammal. People usually think the animal needs their help and want to bring it in. These well meaning individuals usually assume the babies are orphans.
Most babies are still under the watchful eye of their parents and are taken from them by people only trying to help. Unlike human babies, wild babies are not constantly watched by their parents and spend large amounts of time alone. (This is especially true of mammals.)

In most cases, wild animal babies should be left alone. The following is what is recommend to do in specific situations.


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BABY BIRDS

FLEDGLINGS People often see baby birds that are partially feathered sitting on the ground below a tree and automatically assume that they fell out of the nest and need to be helped. At this stage in a birds development, they are considered "fledglings". Fledglings NORMALLY will jump or fall out of the nest. This is their "flight training" stage. The mother bird will then continue feeding the bird on the ground until the bird is able to fly (usually only takes a few days). Unless injured, these birds should be left where they are. Efforts should be made to keep cats, dogs, and curious children away from the bird so the mother can continue to feed it.
Cat or Dog Danger?
If a dog or cat is threatening the baby animal, do not instantly bring the baby in. Rather, keep the pet restrained the short time the baby is there. However, if the animal has already been attacked or picked up by the family pet and is injured, please bring the baby in to a licienced rehabber as soon as possible.


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NESTLINGS Baby birds that are naked for the most part (featherless or feathers just starting to come in) are considered to be "nestlings". These birds stay in the nest and the parents come to feed them there. These babies, when found, are usually on the ground directly below the nest. This occurs either because the baby fell out, blew out (common after wind storms), or was "pushed" out by a sibling. One must realize that this last behavior is actually adaptive for some species. This way, only the strongest of the brood survive and go on to raise young themselves.

What to do if you find a nestling that is out of the nest:

The best thing to do is to try to place the bird back in its nest if at all possible. If the nest cannot be reached for some reason, the following works very well. (This is also the procedure to use if you find the whole nest on the ground.)

Make a "makeshift" nest out of a clean Cool-Whip container or margarine dish. Make holes in the bottom of it to allow for water drainage. Line the bowl with paper towels. Then tack the makeshift nest back up in the tree as close to the original nest as possible. Finally, place the baby bird(s) into this and leave. The parents will usually come back in a short time and will feed the babies in it just like it was the original nest. (Often, you will see the mother going back and forth between each "nest", feeding both sets of babies.)

The only time it is recommend bringing the baby birds in is if you KNOW that the mother is dead or if the babies are injured in any way. The natural parents do a much better job at raising their young than we could ever do. A baby bird that is featherless must be fed every 15-20 minutes from about sunrise to 10 pm! This obviously requires a large time committment on the part of the foster parent.

What if I already touched the birds, the mother won't come back, will she?

People often believe this to be true and therefore think they need to keep the babies. This is simply NOT TRUE and is just an old wives tale. Birds in general have a very poor sense of smell (vultures are one exception) and will not mind the fact that you have handled them (but will be bothered by your presence by the babies).


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If you do find a REAL orphan or injured baby bird, please do the following:

Get it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator AS SOON AS POSSIBLE; the longer the delay, the less chance it has of surviving

Keep the baby bird WARM and in a quiet, dark place until you can bring it in (a small cardboard box works well)

DO NOT give the baby bird any liquids (they get all they need from their food and very often will inhale any liquid)

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BABY MAMMALS
These animals are usually found when the nest has been destroyed or disturbed in some way. Mentioned here are the two most common species we receive calls about.

BABY COTTONTAIL RABBITS
Cottontail rabbits make their "nests" in small depressions in the grass. The nests are lined with fur from the mother and loosely covered with grass. They are frequently disturbed by people when they are mowing their grass or raking. In addition, dogs and cats find these nests and often kill or injure the babies.

If a nest is found or distured, please do the following:
Replace the baby rabbits back in their nest and leave them there unless they are injured or if you KNOW that the mother has been killed. Many people just assume the mother is dead because they "have been watching the nest all day and have not seen the mom come back at all". This is normal. Female cottontails only come to feed their young early in the morning and at dusk. This decreases the chance of alerting predators to the nest's location. If you are not sure if the mother is coming back to feed them, try placing a string over the nest. If the string has not moved by the following morning, she has not been back. If the babies are cool and appear very hungry, bring them to a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible. In the meantime, keep them in a warm, dark box in some towelling in a quiet location.

It is crucial with cottontail babies to bring them in only as a last resort. Baby rabbits have a high death rate when hand raised, due in great part to the stress of handling by humans. People are NOT doing the babies any favors by attempting to raise them themselves. It usually only ends in sadness and frustration. Again, they need special diets, care, and antibiotics if they are to have any chance at survival.

Also, when baby rabbits are about 5 inches long, they are totally on their own and away from their mother. These rabbits do not need to be brought in unless they are injured. (If you have to chase the rabbit to catch it, IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE RESCUED!!)


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BABY SQUIRRELS
These are often found after a nest has blown down from a storm. They are best placed into a box set at the base of the tree. The mother will usually come retrieve them when people are not around. Keep dogs, cats, and children away. It may be necessary to keep them overnight and try again the next day. It is best to call your local wildlife rehabilitator for instructions and advice as to if the baby needs to be brought in. If you are requested to bring in the baby, make sure you keep it in a warm and quiet area (usually in a box with towelling) until you can get it in.


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Always remember the following:

A young animal's best chance for survival is to be raised by its natural mother. It is important to make every effort to try to return the young to its mother. ONLY after all efforts to reunite them have been exhaused should the orphan be removed from the wild. DO NOT try to raise the baby yourself.

All birds (except Pigeons, European Starlings, and House Sparrows) and most mammals are protected by law and it is illegal to have them in your possession without proper permits from the federal and state government.

Proper care and nutrition are crucial to the survival of the baby and any deficiency will more than likely cost the animal its life.

Baby animals easily imprint onto whoever is feeding them and steps are needed to prevent this. An animal that is imprinted on people cannot be released back into the wild and usually must be destroyed.
NOTE: Licensed wildlife rehabilitator's frequently have people bring in babies they have been trying to raise themselves that are now having problems. These animals often have metabolic and nerve problems from an improper diet. They can save many more if they get them in right away.

Here is a link that might be useful: More very helpful advise and truths


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Thanks Anya - that was very informative.

Sher


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Lily,

I hope you remain safe and healthy (especially for your cats and the people in your life who need you).


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

A crow fell out of a tree by the feedstore where I work, he was just a baby and his leg was broken where he tried to hang on before falling. We raised him at the feedstore, he was never caged and there was an opening where when he got older he could get to. His bird mother would visit him sometimes. He learned to fly, he liked to swoop in over peoples heads and scare them. He would get on top of the cash regester and take the change and give it to people. When he was a year old he stayed away more and more until he came back with a mate and they nested in the tree he fell out of. He in now three years old he doesen't come around people because it isn't a crow thing but he has a special call he gives when he comes around. I never regretted saving him.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Shame on you Acorn. You need whipped with a wet noodle. :-)


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

A young animal's best chance for survival is to be raised by its natural mother. It is important to make every effort to try to return the young to its mother. ONLY after all efforts to reunite them have been exhaused should the orphan be removed from the wild. DO NOT try to raise the baby yourself.

Sometimes, there just isn't a choice, like when a doe walks out in front of you as you're going down the road, while her fawn stays on the side of the road-- even after the accident. Either you help the fawn, or it becomes an easy meal for a coyote.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Acorn and Bill..What sweet stories. I do love crows, and would love to have the experience you had. Two times in my rescues things didn't work out. I saved two baby birds i think were starlings. They ran around the yard after me every time they saw me. I was only 13, and the mother was killed by a cat. Everything was fine until the neighbor mowed his yard and killed them. And a few years ago , there were suddenly four baby squirrels running around in the rain on my porch. I put them back in the martin house where they came from but they kept falling out and no mother ever came. So I took them into my carriage house and fed them and put a heating light on them. I called rehabbers but no one got back to me in time. One by one three of them died. The fourth ran away but I am sure he was too young to survive. These were my only failures and they still haunt me. I like the coolwhip hint and I will use it. I never take an animal unless some time has gone by w/o a parent showing up or there are other animals which will kill it.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Hi Bill,
Again that is what wildlife rehabilitator's are for. "MOST" baby deer are removed from their mothers watchful eye, who's just inside of cover from humans trespass. I understand what your saying about the doe being hit by a car but "most times" this is NOT the case. Either way, what is best for the orphan is not the untrained.
Just like the one in your photo.. we all know that fawn would not live very long at all released in the wild would he? Only way that he could "possibly" survive would be in a wildlife sanctuary with others like him. Deer like a lot of other animals depend on mother & herd instinct to help survive. That one was predisposed to dog and human at a very early age. At it's most dependant and subjective time.

Here is a link that might be useful: So, you think you want to be a rebabber?


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Bill, Please keep your pet deer and dog off Luvdogs property. :-)
See neighbor issue, on the Pet Forum.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

One can actually buy fawns from the PaGC. There are quite a few in the area with Whitetail deer, some large Whitetail farms also. A permit is required but not difficult to obtain.

For those who feel a need for more "exotic" types of pets there are all sorts of options. I breed several species of pheasant, Peafowl, quail, fallow deer and more. There are ranch fox,zebra and other tamed, "wild" animals which are manageble by those willing to make an effort to learn proper management skills. Many of these animals are not domesticated but have been bred in captivity for many generations. They have the ability to cause harm as do any domestic animals under wrong conditions.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

It's sad but with the way we destroy wildlife habitat raising them ourselves may be the only way future generations will be able to see them.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

I work in the place where most people buy milk replacers, we have horse, calf, lamb goat, dog and cat. Goat milk works on most animals, we often have fresh goat milk also. People who find animals usally come in here to buy the animal milk. If they have a fawn or a Jackrabbit baby, I tell them that those babies are left while the mother goes to eat and Jackrabbits don't live underground. Jackrabbits leave their babies each baby in a diffrent place in the brush and make their rounds nursing them. Deer stach their babies and come back for them. I tell everyone to put the animal where thet found it and leave. They always tell me but it has human smell on it. I explain it's mother loves it so much she is willing to put up with human smell, and that little animal will get a good cleaning. Most birds can be put back in the nest.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

its great that you saved it and it probly has bonded and it would die if u relased it after being with you so forget every one behind my coment and keep the little cutie


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

I used to do rehab work with wildlife. One of the biggest, most important rules when raising an oprhan is do NOT treat it like a pet!! Deer should never be allowed around the family dog or it will never survive in the wild. It should never be petted or handled, except for what is necessary for feeding and other care. I used to keep a large pen....probably 1/4 acre for raising orphan deer. It was overgrown and full of brush, vines and trees. I kept a gentle nanny goat in there so the baby would not be alone. The babies I raised bonded with her, and would only come to me for their bottles. I never allowed my kids to pet or play with the deer. While this may have seemed cruel to some....making that deer into a pet is the most imhumane thing I could have done for it. Deer make horrible pets, and if the deer is a male it can become a very dangerous pet also. My deer were released into a large national forest as soon as they were weaned and eating brouse in their pen well.

I raised many squirrels the same way....and even a opossum or two. Wild animals should be given their freedom. the only exception to that is if they are already too imprinted on to humans or lack the skills needed to cope in the wild.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Hey, on 5/20/07 i was in my backyard enjoying the sun and i noticed that a hawk was circling over the backyard. I have an Italian Greyhound and he was strolling about so i thouht the hawk may have been looking at him. I kind of got nervous so i rushed over to him to try to catch him but he was having to much fun to come inside so he starts speeding around the yard playfully. As i'm trying to catch him i notice a still bird sitting in the open grass I study it for awhile and it hasn't blinked or moved at all, i gently touch its beak with the tip of my shoe to see if alive or dead because i often find dead birds but this one wasn't shredded. Once i touch its beak it opens and i relize the hawk was stalking the bird! I dig up a few worms clean them then let them soak in a little Gatorade for a minute and feed them to the bird. I look to see if the hawk is still around and it has perched itself on the neighboor's roof. The little bird being replenished starts to hop around so i think to myself it must be a fledgling. I let it hop around without any interaction and the parents start to react nerviously, thats when i discover it was a baby robin. As it hops closer to the neighboors fence i soon put together the pieces and the parents are panicking becuase the hawk is over there so i walk as calmly and fast as i can but i startle it and it goes under the large wood fence as the parent robins start to scream and squawk. I run to get a garbage can, a net, the stick part of a broken shovel, and duck tape. I now have a very long net and something to stand on to see over the fence. I swoop it in the net just in time and the hawk takes of from the closer part of the roof frustrated. Sure the parents are mad at me now but i couldn't just leave it there for the hawk to get it later. So i took it inside. That afternoon i put it in a Nike shoe box and went back to my other house in NYC. The next day i brought it to school to ask my math teacher what i should do because she has helped injured birds before, she upgraded its box to an office paper box. She recommened Exact hand feeding formula for baby birds and an eye dropper. A couple of days i bought a small hamster cage that fitted the robin well and then later i set out to find some worms. It is very hard to find wild worms in NYC but i did. As the bird got a little fatter we cleaned up the cage and switched it for a real bird cage. I let it out in my room whenever i'm not at school. It is happy as can be. I am currently trying to teach it how to eat on its own by gently pushing its beak into various fruits - I research what it should and shouldn't have. Tomorrow will make it a month that its been living with me. I do plan to give it the option of leaving, but thats after i teach it to eat without my assistance. It will peck and eat small insects that it finds on the patio in NJ. Well thats my story in great detail, hope i have some interesting comments to view in a few days. BTW it taught itself to walk in a hamster wheel which i took a short video of. (NOTE: It is no longer in the hamster cage) I'll post the link for anyone that would like to see. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRflDdmRu0c


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

Hey, on 5/20/07 i was in my backyard enjoying the sun and i noticed that a hawk was circling over the backyard. I have an Italian Greyhound and he was strolling about so i thouht the hawk may have been looking at him. I kind of got nervous so i rushed over to him to try to catch him but he was having to much fun to come inside so he starts speeding around the yard playfully. As i'm trying to catch him i notice a still bird sitting in the open grass I study it for awhile and it hasn't blinked or moved at all, i gently touch its beak with the tip of my shoe to see if alive or dead because i often find dead birds but this one wasn't shredded. Once i touch its beak it opens and i relize the hawk was stalking the bird! I dig up a few worms clean them then let them soak in a little Gatorade for a minute and feed them to the bird. I look to see if the hawk is still around and it has perched itself on the neighboor's roof. The little bird being replenished starts to hop around so i think to myself it must be a fledgling. I let it hop around without any interaction and the parents start to react nerviously, thats when i discover it was a baby robin. As it hops closer to the neighboors fence i soon put together the pieces and the parents are panicking becuase the hawk is over there so i walk as calmly and fast as i can but i startle it and it goes under the large wood fence as the parent robins start to scream and squawk. I run to get a garbage can, a net, the stick part of a broken shovel, and duck tape. I now have a very long net and something to stand on to see over the fence. I swoop it in the net just in time and the hawk takes of from the closer part of the roof frustrated. Sure the parents are mad at me now but i couldn't just leave it there for the hawk to get it later. So i took it inside. That afternoon i put it in a Nike shoe box and went back to my other house in NYC. The next day i brought it to school to ask my math teacher what i should do because she has helped injured birds before, she upgraded its box to an office paper box. She recommened Exact hand feeding formula for baby birds and an eye dropper. A couple of days i bought a small hamster cage that fitted the robin well and then later i set out to find some worms. It is very hard to find wild worms in NYC but i did. As the bird got a little fatter we cleaned up the cage and switched it for a real bird cage. I let it out in my room whenever i'm not at school. It is happy as can be. I am currently trying to teach it how to eat on its own by gently pushing its beak into various fruits - I research what it should and shouldn't have. Tomorrow will make it a month that its been living with me. I do plan to give it the option of leaving, but thats after i teach it to eat without my assistance. It will peck and eat small insects that it finds on the patio in NJ. Well thats my story in great detail, hope i have some interesting comments to view in a few days. BTW it taught itself to walk in a hamster wheel which i took a short video of. (NOTE: It is no longer in the hamster cage) I'll post the link for anyone that would like to see. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRflDdmRu0c


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

It's a fledgling robin. When did it die? Exact is the wrong food.


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RE: Wild animals being kept as pets

i have to agree with Elly, especially the statement about caring for animals serving our own ego.

I am lucky to live near a wonderful wildlife rehab center in the NJ Pine Barrens, since I was a kid it was the place to take ANY injured wildlife that we came across, mostly birds. I agree they should all have the chance to live out their lives the way nature intended. I would never ever turn my back on an amimal that needed help, and feel fortunate that there are people out there capable of giving that help.

As for the OP's dove, it is too late to release her now - and you hit the nail on the head when you said doves are not very bright, they aren't!


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