A Second Chance for Charlie

Posted by Pia

I'm thrilled to report that our friend Charlie, the young gopher who was caught in a glue trap and saved by a dedicated firefighter, is happily on the mend and beginning his life anew!

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Like the baby raccoons above, Charlie is one of hundreds of wild critters fortunate enough to have been cared for by AnimalAdvocates.us

1 Like the baby raccoons above, Charlie is one of hundreds of wild critters fortunate enough to have been cared for by AnimalAdvocates.us

Licensed wildlife rehabilitator Mary Cummins is a creative thinker when it comes to helping the orphaned and injured.

2 Licensed wildlife rehabilitator Mary Cummins is a creative thinker when it comes to helping the orphaned and injured.

After Firefighter Ric Schultz carefully freed Charlie from the glue trap (with the help of vegetable oil and a plastic spoon)- Charlie got to heal and rest up for his return to the wild.

3 After Firefighter Ric Schultz carefully freed Charlie from the glue trap (with the help of vegetable oil and a plastic spoon)- Charlie got to heal and rest up for his return to the wild.

According to volunteer MaryEllen Shoeman, who released Charlie,

4 According to volunteer MaryEllen Shoeman, who released Charlie, "He happily popped down an abandoned gopher hole right away -- a nice place underneath a patch of cactus -- great protection from predators!"

While Charlie's stay was brief, he will be missed by his other wildlife comrades at AnimalAdvocates.us. This blind squirrel is remarkably resilient despite his limitations!

5 While Charlie's stay was brief, he will be missed by his other wildlife comrades at AnimalAdvocates.us. This blind squirrel is remarkably resilient despite his limitations!

Sadly, Mary has seen many animals come in suffering as victims of glue traps.

6 Sadly, Mary has seen many animals come in suffering as victims of glue traps.

It is illegal to place these traps where 'non-target' wildlife like squirrels, birds, lizards and chipmunks can be harmed by them.

7 It is illegal to place these traps where 'non-target' wildlife like squirrels, birds, lizards and chipmunks can be harmed by them.

Many would like to see the U.S. follow Australia's lead and ban these inhumane traps.

8 Many would like to see the U.S. follow Australia's lead and ban these inhumane traps.

While the critters may get to rest in a rehabbers care...

9 While the critters may get to rest in a rehabbers care...

...a rehabbers work is never done. There is always another sweet soul in need, like this orphaned coyote pup who depends on the care of local wildlife rescuers.

10 ...a rehabbers work is never done. There is always another sweet soul in need, like this orphaned coyote pup who depends on the care of local wildlife rescuers.

While these furry friends are super cute, wildlife rescuers take great care to avoid socializing them, so they can safely be returned to the wild.

11 While these furry friends are super cute, wildlife rescuers take great care to avoid socializing them, so they can safely be returned to the wild.

It must be hard to resist cuddling these cuties!  But it's important not to handle wildlife too much if they are to be re-released to fend for themselves.

12 It must be hard to resist cuddling these cuties! But it's important not to handle wildlife too much if they are to be re-released to fend for themselves.

Adorable little expressions like this one don't exactly make resisting cuddling these guys or releasing them easy!

13 Adorable little expressions like this one don't exactly make resisting cuddling these guys or releasing them easy!

I never cease to be amazed by the resilience of animals and the tenacity of the humans who treat these amazing creatures as they so rightly deserve: as our kin.

Sadly, glue traps are just one example of the inhumane ways that humans interface with other species.

I encourage everyone to follow the example set by people like Ric, the firefighter who patiently freed Charlie from the glue trap; Mary, the real estate assessor who devotes her free time to helping wildlife in need, or Gina, the kick-boxing instructor who is willing to go out of her way to transport an injured animal where he needs to go.

All of these individuals have regular jobs but still take it upon themselves to help our fellow creatures when the opportunity presents itself. You don't need to make animal welfare your career or have special training to make a difference in the life of an endangered animal. What's more important is a sense of personal responsibility regarding our impact on the world -- a world where 99.9% of inhabitants are members of species other than the human variety.

We have all the common sense, intelligence and instincts to live compassionately. Advertising like that found on the packaging of glue traps, claiming such traps are "humane" in any way, insults this intelligence. And sadly, we are too often presented with such misleading information.

We're smarter than that.  And we owe it to our fellow creatures to employ these smarts at every opportunity.

In kinship,

Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (8)

  • Dr. Pia I'm happy to hear that Charlie is doing well but I must say all the animals pictured in your blog are my favorite to chase.

    As the Frenchie of the house it is my obligation to chase those critters out of my yard. I'm actually doing them a favor because if the Labs should get a hold of them the story might not have a happy ending. They hunt for real, I'm just a chaser.

    There is a chipmunk living in our water fountain and I sit in the flower bed off to the side and just wait for the sucker to pop its head, takes up so much of my day but I'm determined to make the catch. Mom put some garlic down in the hole trying to keep it out of the flower bed on top but I think it likes it, keeps coming back.

    Way to go Charlie but don't come in my yard :)

    Zoe

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    Running a little late today reading your latest posting. Just returned from a walk. The air is so cool today and clear; no pollen to speak of. I saw a man cutting his hedge with some really big scissors. Mama said she was going to tell him he missed a spot back there. Daddy said not to because he has a weapon in his hands. They laughed and I don’t know what was so funny. Maybe some day I’ll understand humans. But until then, I’ll just do the “dog” thing. Speaking of which; nap time.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Do we KNOW who these creatures REALLY are? As far as the Bible is concerned, only the HUMANS were kicked out of Paradise. So why are there comments above from members of Man"KIND", making fun of these critters?
    A huge THANK YOU for all who have saved these animals from a sometims horrible death, especially in a glue trap.

  • Hello Dr. Pia: What a horrible thing to do to one of God's creatures! A glue trap??? I can only imagine in my puppy dog mind what torture that would be. Some people don't have any sense at all. I am so glad that Charlie is doing fine now and thanks to the heroic firefighter who saved him.

    It is a wonderful day today. It is clear, warm and very dry. I had my sunbath and now for a nap and then a small snack or a small snack and then a nap. Yeah! That's the ticket!

    Take care. See ya later. Love, Gracyn.

  • Thank you so much to everyone who helped out the little gopher. We humans can be so cruel at times. These traps should not be allowed. I'm sure there are humane ways to keep gophers away.

  • absolutely darling photographs...how wonderful that these animals are getting a second chance in life!

  • Hi Dr. Pia, As usual, your blog is very important in how we humans treat all other creatures who deserve not only kindness but sensitivity in how we treat them. Hopefully some day all humans will respect all animals. We need to share space as well as love and respect for all creatures and care for any who need help. Any kind of trapping should be a definite no-no. Thanks Dr. Pia for always being there. Jan

  • HURRAY!!! There are good people out there! I made sure I took all the glue traps in our classroom and smashed them all! What does this say about how we treat each other!? I am so sickened by how we mistreat any animal, let alone human ones. Zero population for the human race! Let Mother Nature take back the Earth!

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