Saturday, August 5, 2017

More Crazy Work Stories

Not the ducks in question
Many of you have written me saying that you absolutely love the crazy work stories. Lucky for you, they're not in short supply. It seems that work has been extra crazy lately. Here are some of the calls I've had recently:

A woman called the police dispatcher to report ducks in her pool. She was frantic, afraid that they would drown. I arrived to find a female mallard and ducklings swimming in a pool that obviously hadn't been chlorinated in a very long time. The woman was upset because every time she'd scoop a duckling out with a net, it would jump right back in. (I DID NOT say something snarky.) I assured her that the mother would not let her babies drown, and the best thing to do would be leave them alone. However, to make her feel better we secured a float to the side of the pool so the ducklings could climb out. I would bet my last paycheck that they didn't use it.

Who else keeps newborn kittens on their desk?
One of my crazy cat ladies found a litter of kittens but couldn't find the mother. She said that she couldn't bottle feed them either because she has a job now. So, I picked up three two-day-old kittens. They couldn't stay in my kennel or else they would have starved to death. I couldn't find a foster family to take them until the following day so the babies came home with me for the night. It was awful. Kittens need to be fed every 3 hours. They also need to be stimulated to relieve themselves. Mama cats use their tongues; Kelley used a warm washcloth. Kitten poop is stinky, sticky and gross. Jedi and Roxy wouldn't leave the kittens alone. Jedi was the worst! I don't understand how he can smell anise on a Q-tip from 3 feet away, but must stick his nose on a kitten to figure out what it is. Fortunately, the kittens are now with a more qualified foster family.

Animal Control deals with the City ordinances related to domestic animals -- leash laws, feral cats, barking, etc. In theory, wildlife calls are limited to scoop and run (i.e. sick raccoons) or the immediate safety of the public. I'm not trained or have the equipment for most wildlife, so in moist case my office refers people to wildlife specialists. I DEFINITELY don't do snake calls. That being said, I had a snake call last week. A hysterical woman called 911. The dispatcher sent me to the address to see if I could calm her down and advise her. Ahhh, the joys of working in a small town. I arrived on scene to a woman standing in the middle of the living room holding a broom. Across the room was a large, sliding glass door. Jammed up against the door frame was a 3-foot garter snake who looked just as terrified as the homeowner. I was able to open the sliding glass door and use the broom to guide the snake outside. I have never seen a snake move so fast. The way I see it, all of us wanted the same thing, but I was the only one calm enough to think it through. I wish all calls were that easy!

I had a woman call me saying that an opossum was badly tangled in a soccer net and she couldn't get it out. She wasn't exaggerating. It was a cheap, child's net that folds easily for storage. The opossum had several pieces of the net wrapped around his neck and front legs. One leg was wrapped so tightly that the foot was beginning to swell. every time someone approached the opossum he would panic and flop around, tangling himself even worse. Thankfully, the homeowner was more concerned about the animal than the net and had no problem with me cutting her son's toy to shreds. I started with the head. The poor animal probably thought I was trying to cut his head off and kept biting at the scissors. He nearly bit me twice. I ended up shoving the end of a catch pole in his mouth to keep him occupied. Once his head was free I put the catch pole around his neck. This allowed me to safely position him while I cut the net from around his legs. He wasn't cooperating! He kept grabbing at the net with his dexterous feet and prehensile tail, tangling himself more as I was working. Fortunately, I was faster than he was and after 10 minutes he was freed. He stared at me for a moment or two and then ran into the woods -- without even a thank you.

I got an email from Code Enforcement. A resident sent in a complaint stating that the neighbor behind him didn't clean her back yard and he was "tired of smelling dog shit." To be honest, there's not much I can do about it. Our ordinances state that I can write a ticket to someone who doesn't pick up poop on public property -- and even on a  neighbor's property! -- but I have no authority to compel a person to clean their own property. That being said, I investigated anyway. I started with the complainant, who wasn't home. Then I went to the house in question. A teenage girl was home. I gave her my card and asked her to have her mom call me when she got home (I'm limited on what I can do/say to minors). THEN I went next door . . . And this is where the job gets weird. I knocked on the door and said:
Good Morning. I'm Officer Kelley with Small Beach Town Animal Control. I get a lot strange calls and investigate them all. That being said, may I go into your backyard and sniff for dog poop?
Yep. I did. Long story short: Didn't smell poop. Dog Owner cleaned her yard, then called to bitch about her neighbor. Complainant called (he saw me on his home surveillance) and bitched about his neighbor and his impotent HOA, the ones who should be handling this. And Next Door Neighbor knows Hysterical Snake Lady and she told him all about the incident. Luckily, she had nice things to say about me. Everybody knows everybody in Small Beach Town -- it's enough to make a girl paranoid.

All this happened in a two week period. During that time I also had cases involving: peacocks, two dogs with microchips (one was untraceable), feral cats in a trap, National Night Out, a dog bite at the pet store and crossing guard recertification. (That's one of my many "other duties as required." Click the link if you want to see some of the other weird stuff I do.) Like I've said before, this job seldom boring. -- K