Saturday, July 25, 2009

OMG - A Baby Squirrel

Magoo, Mike and I returned home from hitting a birthday party, the pool, and the grocery store (quite tired) and found our cat, Java, in the front yard with some sort of critter.  It turned out to be a baby squirrel.

We put Java in the house and saw that the squirrel was still breathing.  It didn't look bad off, like Java had tried to eat it or anything.  It seemed to be sleeping.  Maybe it was too boring for the cat to eat.  We assume it fell from it's nest and Java found it and maybe moved it.

What to do?  What to do?

The fact that we found it at 5:45pm on a Saturday did not bode well for finding help quickly.   So I went to the internet.  The first site I found said the first thing you need to do is keep it warm.  Mike went out and put it in a shoebox with fabric. (above.)  Then the site talked about formula and feedings and antibiotics - all of which was waaaaay out of our league.  But it had numbers for a couple state rehabilitators, so I called one (Skip) and left a message.

Then I went back online and called a vet.  They gave me the number for the Dept. of Wildlife.  I spoke to a man there who directed me to their website, but he also said if I couldn't find anyone to help us the best thing to do is put the squirrel back out where we found it and let nature take its course.  Yeep.  That wasn't really what we wanted to do.

On their webpage, it said you could put the baby in a basket and hang it back in the tree where it fell out in hopes the mother would find it.  So that's what we did.

I got a basket and put a hot water bottle in it (first site said to do that to keep the baby warm) and tucked the baby in.

Then we hung the basket.

About fifteen minutes after we got the basket up the rehabilitator (Skip) gave me a ring back.  He said what we did sounded good and to check on the baby tomorrow around noon.  If it was still in the basket and still alive, he gave me a couple numbers to call.

That's where we're at.  We're keeping Java in and hoping for the best.  I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE:  Sunday morning, 11:30

We checked on the baby this morning and it was still in the basket and still alive, although the breathing wasn't as strong as yesterday.  Then I started making phone calls - lots and lots of phone calls.  I also added another warm water bottle.  By the time I had left about 10 messages, the baby seemed to be doing better.  It snuggled itself closer to the bottle and was breathing well again.

Long story short - a very nice woman just came and picked up the squirrel.  She handled it like she handled little babies all the time.  She told us it was a boy and about 3-4 weeks old.  I'm thrilled that the squirrel has someone to look after it properly now and wish it the best!

Worrying about a baby squirrel is exhausting.


Heather said...

OMG is right! Poor little guy, he looks brand new. What about animal control at the police dept.? You guys already went above and beyond what most people would. On the Berenstein Bears, the same thing happens but they keep it as a pet in the house. Needless to say, it goes crazy and eats the damn house...

Julie_c said...

According to a variety of websites, in the state of CT it is illegal to keep wildlife as a pet. You're allowed to take care of an orphaned or injured animal only as long as you plan to turn it over to a rehabiliator ASAP.
We'll check on the squirrel later this morning. I'm HOPING it's not in the basket and the mother has come for it. If not, I have a couple numbers to call and hopefully someone can care for it. Poor baby.

Robin said...

I love the pic of him snuggled in the blanket with his little paws out, so cute. So glad you found someone to take him.

Chicklebee said...

You are the best Mama EVER!!!!

Jessica said...

Aw, poor little thing and so strange looking! I'm glad someone came to help you out.

When our mom was little she found a litter of baby squirrels and raised them in her garage.

WildLife Rehabber said...

I am so glad you didn't give it any formula,that's the worst thing you could have done.I am so happy you tried to get him back with Mom. You guys did a great job! I am a wildlife Rehabber and my main focus has been squirrels.Matter of fact,I have 4 babies right now! Thank you so much for all you did and thank you even more for calling someone who knows what to do :)
Licensed Wildlife Rehabber in NC