Sep 2, 2013

Junior Rescuers

By Rebecca Dmytryk

Aidan (7 1/2) with Bentley.
Last night at about 8:00 pm, we received a call about an injured bird in Gilroy, CA. 

The reporting party, Anne, said she and her son had been walking their dog Bentley, when they found the bird.

On their walk, Aidan (7 1/2) noticed a cat. He approached the cat thinking it might be a stray (he's got a heart for saving animals), but when he got close, the cat dropped a bird from its mouth and ran off. 

The bird was clearly injured. Aidan called out for his mom, and told her they needed to find help.

"Mom, we have to help this bird. No one else will help him."

Anne helped Aidan gently pick up the broken bird, and they carried it home.

They set the bird on a towel inside a cardboard box. Aidan was distraught. He did not want the bird to die and he urged his mom to hurry and find someone who could help save its life.

Thankfully, Anne found WES' emergency number online, fairly quickly.

When we connected, Anne expressed a rare eagerness to, not only help the bird, but to nurture her son's compassion and benevolence. 

This was Aidan's 5th rescue. He once helped three neighborhood dogs get reunited with their owners. He also rescued an old, sick cat, and Aidan was the one who selected the family's shelter-rescues, two cats, Audrey and Echo, and their dog, Bentley.  

Anne's willingness to do whatever was necessary came as somewhat of a shock. 

In general, I'd say at least 80% of the people I speak with on a daily basis - people who call to report a wild animal in distress, are concerned enough to call, but not willing to help in any way. They want it "handled", but don't want to be more involved in the process - they don't have time...

During our conversation, Anne mentioned how Aidan had felt that, because it was a wild bird, maybe no one would care - no one would help.

That really hit me, hard. 

I told Anne to be sure to tell Aidan that there are people out there who do care about wild animals, in fact, there are special hospitals with special nurses and doctors who dedicate their lives to caring for injured and orphaned wildlife.

Unfortunately, so late in the day, there was no nowhere for them to take the bird. I instructed Anne to keep it overnight in the covered box, undisturbed, in a warm, dark, quiet spot. She and Aidan would transport it to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley the next morning. 



We want to honor Aidan and other children interested in helping animals with a program just for them!

We are forming a Junior Animal Rescue program. 

Parents will help develop the curriculum and must accompany their child to meetings and on field trips. 

We have a couple of spots open for children 7-11. Email me directly if you are interested in being a part of this pilot program.


Margie said...

So proud of my grandson, Aidan and his mom, Anne. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What happened? Did the bird survive?