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Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Don't Do That

Just before the Holidays. And yes,it's busy. Typical? Nothing is really typical in the Animal Control Field. It's not really any busier than the rest of the year. Although you would think that the "Season of Good Cheer" and "Good Will Towards Man" would have some affect on people.
Oh hell no.
Your more likely to get someone screaming "Merry Christmas!" While flipping you the bird.
But anyway. I'm working long days doing what I do. I get a call for a Dead Raccoon stuck between two trees.
Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. I should have know. Nothing is ever as easy as it sounds.
My very first clue should have been when the Calling Party (CP) answered the door and one of the first things she said was, "Oh, they didn't send a man?" Kinda weird huh.
She let me in to the house and led me to the backdoor, passing her mother who said, "Oh we had such a sad day yesterday." that was it. All she said and disappeared into some other part of the house.
Weirder and weirder.
So we get out in the backyard, which by the way, have about a million bird feeders and seeds all over the place. The CP is explaining this whole way how she tried to YANK the dead raccoon out but she just didn't have enough strength.
We stopped and she points up. Well there it is. About 15 feet up in one of those skinny Cypress Pine trees. She had somehow managed to cover it with a white sheet. I'm looking up there and thinking there is no way I am getting that down. Especially if she had already tried yanking it herself.
So she points out a wooden ladder that is leaning again the shed like building that the tree is next to. She said that I could climb up the ladder to the top of the shed and get in the tree to get the raccoon out.
Ummm. NO.
We don't do that.
So I nicely explained to her that we are not allowed by the county to climb up ladders, buildings, or trees. It's a strict county policy to protect us from being injured or doing damage to property.
I know, here it comes....
"Well they would do it on that TV show on the Animal Cops show."
Ya right lady. Do you see a camera crew and producers following me around? No. Do I get paid extra and does my shelter organization get a bonus for being on TV? No. Do I have the protection of a fat check from the producers if I am injured while being on TV? NO.
Do I say all this to her? I wish.
No. I smile pleasantly and apologetically explain to her that we are just not allowed to climb on anything. I asked her if she had any male friends who would be willing to help her out. She scowled at me, ACTUALLY SCOWLED, and said, "Oh we are Old."
What the heck does that have to do with having male friends?? Are you kidding me? Not to mention that she looked all of 45 at the most. Your just are a bitter woman who lives with her mother.
Ok, well then, you might have to try calling a Tree Trimming Service or Pest Control Company, because this is not something that I or any of our Officers, female or MALE are going to be allowed to do. If you get it removed from the tree we can come back out and pick it up.
Well apparently she had already called a tree trimming place and they would do it no problem, for a little over a hundred bucks.
She didn't want to have to pay. But she said she guessed she would have to. I again apologized to her that we could not help her at this point. But again reminded her that she can call us if she has the Tree company get it out. She asked if she could just put it in her garbage can. I told her that I didn't advise that because the County Garbage Collectors really don't like dead animals in the trash. Not to mention that there are county codes against it. Nothing bigger that a squirrel is allowed in the garbage. I told her to just give us a call and we can come back out and take the remains away for proper disposal.
And I left and went on with my day.
I got back to the shelter that evening and met up with a fellow officer 467 and my Supervisor. 467 was telling our Sup about a call he had in what we call Deep South. I said something about my dead raccoon 15 feet up a tree and my Supervisor laughs and says "That was your call?" So I told him how the raccoon was dead and she wanted me to climb up a rickety wooden ladder, onto the roof of this shed building and shimmy up a tree to yank the thing out of it's wedged in final resting place. He and 467 both said they wouldn't do it either.
Then he proceeds to tell me how he got this angry phone call about how we don't do our jobs and what are her tax dollars paying for if we can't get a raccoon out of a tree. It was a voicemail message she left so he didn't get the pleasant experience of explaining to her the same thing I had explained to her earlier. He only got to leave her a voicemail message back, explaining what I had told her before. We Don't do that.
And this "My Tax Dollars Pay Your Salary" Bull? Ya, well I pay taxes too, so I guess I'm paying my own salary huh? And by the way if you ARE paying my salary, I need a raise.
Wishing you all Happy Holidays! Be Safe and Love Your Pets!


  1. Yeah, the holidays bring out the best in everyone.

  2. Wow... my husband is in the military and hears the tax line from time to time. Its always funny to me!

    On another note, I thought Id ask you a question. We live in North Chicago and have a good amount of snow right now. We also have two Great Danes, and I was just thinking about if I need to put something on their feet or not to go outside, or if they are fine with a time limit or something? Sometimes they just play and play and couldnt care less about the snow, other times they sit at the door and shiver, lol. They are never out long... they are definatly inside dogs... I just want to know whats safe :)

  3. Certainly! Dogs are pretty resilient, despite them pretending to be Sissy La-La's. Playing outside in the snow if fine, as long as they are not left outside for long periods of time. They can develop frostbite just like every one else, BUT that takes time. When they come inside be sure to dry thier feet off, also giving them a good rub to help warm them back up! My hound is very short coated, and even though we don't get snow here it's cold. She does the whole pathetic shivering thing, EXCEPT when we hunt! Then she could care less!
    Take care and happy holidays!!

  4. Ha ha, yes! They can be such drama queens, can't they? All sad, and put-upon, and acting mistreated... then they see you with your hat light on, and suddenly life is great and the night is full of excitement.

    I miss hunting...