Archive for March, 2008

Spring is just around the corner here. In some parts of the country, flowers are already blooming. Wildlife babies will be born very soon.
I’ve just finally caught up with some of my Northwoods Wildlife Center (NWC) paperwork responsibilities.
In 1997, the American Bird Conservancy launched the Keep Cats Indoors! Campaign in an effort to reduce songbird predation by domestic cats. At NWC, our cat attack admissions were 4.41% in 1998. In 2007, that number was just 1.42%.
Patients admitted due to dog attacks were much greater, ranging from a high in 2001 of 10.92% to a low of 3.37% in 1998.
Last year’s dog attacks amounted to 5.07%! Only 60% of those were returned to the wild.
Some of the wildlife species being attacked by dogs are cottontail rabbits, white-tailed deer fawns, snowshoe hares, squirrels, birds and more.
These are only the patients someone actually brings into NWC. Many others don’t make it.
Many people don’t realize even if their dog doesn’t actually catch a wild animal, it can do harm. Just seriously chasing a squirrel can cause her to abort her litter. White-tailed deer physically shut down after even short bouts of extreme stress like being chased by a dog. Yes, they die from stress!
Our personal pack respects wildlife. We don’t allow them to chase squirrels or deer or rabbits or grasshoppers even. We’ve directed their prey drive into acceptable forms (dock diving, fetch, etc).
We’re rewarded with a yard wildlife feels safe visiting. The dogs routinely go out for last call (off-lead) with deer standing in the yard.

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