Frances of Pleasantville - Squirrel Rescue Part I

Posted by Pia

You may have heard of Francis of Assisi.... Well now I'd like to introduce you to, Frances of Pleasantville! Just the other night, Minnow and the rest of us got to host an unexpected guest for the night!

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Tiny Frances finally got some rest curled up in my shirt!

1 Tiny Frances finally got some rest curled up in my shirt!

Sweet little Frances was recently orphaned when her mama was tragically struck by a car on a neighborhood street :(

2 Sweet little Frances was recently orphaned when her mama was tragically struck by a car on a neighborhood street :(

Roger- a concerned resident who had witnessed what happened to the mama squirrel, began to notice a baby squirrel who was now coming right up to him each day and crying...

3 Roger- a concerned resident who had witnessed what happened to the mama squirrel, began to notice a baby squirrel who was now coming right up to him each day and crying...

Right as Roger was telling me about this, she came up to us and cried out- sounding almost like a little bird... we put out some nuts and seeds...

4 Right as Roger was telling me about this, she came up to us and cried out- sounding almost like a little bird... we put out some nuts and seeds...

...And she crawled right up onto my leg! She seemed not to fear humans. I was unsure what to do-I know it is often best for wildlife not to be handled by humans... I called my friend and trusty fellow rescuer, Jane Garrison, out in California for advice...

5 ...And she crawled right up onto my leg! She seemed not to fear humans. I was unsure what to do-I know it is often best for wildlife not to be handled by humans... I called my friend and trusty fellow rescuer, Jane Garrison, out in California for advice...

Jane told me to call Janet Kinser- a wonderful wildlife rehabilitator she knew in South Carolina! Janet called me back immediately- I sent her a photo from my phone, described the situation and the sound of Frances' cries....

6 Jane told me to call Janet Kinser- a wonderful wildlife rehabilitator she knew in South Carolina! Janet called me back immediately- I sent her a photo from my phone, described the situation and the sound of Frances' cries....

As a trained rehabber- and founder of her own non-profit- Keeper of the Wild.org- Janet confirmed that Frances was too young to be without her mama and definitely needed care to survive...

7 As a trained rehabber- and founder of her own non-profit- Keeper of the Wild.org- Janet confirmed that Frances was too young to be without her mama and definitely needed care to survive...

Once Janet told us that Frances needed to get to a wildlife expert- and that it was safe for us to  transport her- we coaxed her into a humane trap that Roger had on hand to help others like her.

8 Once Janet told us that Frances needed to get to a wildlife expert- and that it was safe for us to transport her- we coaxed her into a humane trap that Roger had on hand to help others like her.

We felt bad to put her in a cage but Janet assured us it was ok and that she was likely exhausted, quite hungry and in need of fluids.

9 We felt bad to put her in a cage but Janet assured us it was ok and that she was likely exhausted, quite hungry and in need of fluids.

It was important to make sure that we were not leaving behind any other babies in need of help.  Roger said he had not seen or heard others but would be certain to be on the lookout...

10 It was important to make sure that we were not leaving behind any other babies in need of help. Roger said he had not seen or heard others but would be certain to be on the lookout...

Frances and I headed to my house - I called some local wildlife groups en route and left messages regarding what was needed and where Frances was found.

11 Frances and I headed to my house - I called some local wildlife groups en route and left messages regarding what was needed and where Frances was found.

We set up a cozy little home in our guest shower and offered Frances some broccoli, cheerios and other items that Janet suggested.

12 We set up a cozy little home in our guest shower and offered Frances some broccoli, cheerios and other items that Janet suggested.

Janet recommended we offer Frances some fluids with electrolytes- like Pedialyte or Gatorade- or a mixture of water and honey...

13 Janet recommended we offer Frances some fluids with electrolytes- like Pedialyte or Gatorade- or a mixture of water and honey...

...and give it to her slowly in a syringe.

14 ...and give it to her slowly in a syringe.

Hooray! Once she got a drop, she slurped it right up!

15 Hooray! Once she got a drop, she slurped it right up!

Boy was she thirsty...poor little thing!

16 Boy was she thirsty...poor little thing!

After some sustenance and a sense that she was safe...Frances curled right up in a ball for a good long nap!

17 After some sustenance and a sense that she was safe...Frances curled right up in a ball for a good long nap!

She was clearly tired out from all the confusion and days of fending for herself...

18 She was clearly tired out from all the confusion and days of fending for herself...

I couldn't resist holding her little hand for a bit as she slept... I wanted her to know that she was not alone and I promised to get her the kind of care that her own mama would surely have wanted for her...

19 I couldn't resist holding her little hand for a bit as she slept... I wanted her to know that she was not alone and I promised to get her the kind of care that her own mama would surely have wanted for her...

After a good night's sleep, Frances seemed refreshed and ready for her next adventure. As I prepared to transport her to a rehabilitator, I had a moment to reflect on what led up to meeting her...

I had attended a nearby estate sale the week before. Having learned a bit about the creative and loving grandfather whose estate items were now being respectfully handled by grandson Kyle- I had become involved in helping out with his grandfather Francis's things. The process led me to feel I had met Francis at some level and I quickly came to see why grandson Kyle felt such loyalty and dedication to this special soul.

Roger-a neighbor who had heard me speaking to Kyle about animal rescue- inquired about how to help the orphaned squirrel in the neighborhood... And the rest is the story that I have begun to share above... that of a Frances of the squirrel variety!

Needless to say, thisexplains the origin of Frances's name- it seemed fitting and Kyle was honored to have his grandfather's legacy live on in such a collaborative and life affirming tale.

Stay tuned for updates on Frances in the week's ahead!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

P.S. Please consider supporting the important work of rehabilitators like Janet and others at Keeper of The Wild.org! This critical work relies on donations to provide critical life-saving care to wildlife in need.

Comments (12)

  • Such a sweet story. This is why I slam on the brakes when I see a squirrel in the road instead of running the poor thing down like so many others do. You never know if they have babies somewhere! Thank-you for rescuing little Frances!

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. When the baby squirrel grows up we could have a good time at my place. She could run around my back yard. She could lead and I would give chase. What fun we would have. Just kidding. There is a place near me which takes in wild animals. Once they are sure they are not sick and can take care of themselves they are released into the woods nearby. My Mommy has taken baby animals there often. Now I think it’s about nap time for me.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hi Dr. Pia and Minnow, Once again you have given us a beautiful blog and I am thrilled to see that darling baby squirrel in these wonderful photos! Tiny Frances is so cute and I'm so happy that she has been saved after her Mom was run over! How wonderful the You, Roger, Jane Garrison, and Janet Kinser were able to save that sweet baby who finally looked so much better with your care! I'll bet Minnow loved her, also! Can't wait to see more of her as she grows up! Sure hope to hear from more of our Glue Squad very soon! Will check back later! Have a great weekend Dr. Pia and Minnow! Love, Dudley Do Right XOXOXO+

  • Thank you for this important story. Folks need to be so careful at this time of year. Every animal killed on the roadways (birds, deer, squirrels, etc) are leaving behind babies like this little one to face a long painful period of starvation. If we all slow down we can prevent this or even notice a tiny animal like this that needs our help. Frances was a lucky one.

  • Hello Dr. Pia and Glue Squad Buddies,
    This blog is so special, and I think the Mama Squirrel was on the Rainbow Bridge and looking for you. She knew of you and that you would help. Roger and Jane and Janet were little baby Frances saviors also. Please keep us posted as she strengthens and grows. And I agree with Karen, everyone slow down so no more animal fatalities. Have a GEM of a day.
    Love and licks,
    Ruby

  • Hello Dr.Pia and my glue squad buddies,
    It is wonderful that you helped rescue Frances the baby squirrel. Yesterday I saw four cars actually slow down and let a large snapping turtle walk across one of our local roads. It is amazing to witness compassionate acts such as these.
    I will be having a house guest here to play with for the weekend so we want to wish Dudley, Kirby, Black mama, Ruby, Maddox, rebel, Zoe, Missy Chow, Lucy, jake, Riley and all my friends a happy and healthy weekend!!!
    Purrrs to Kitty, Delia, Empress Tang too-
    James Byron Dean the persian boy cat

  • ..nice to see that there are concerned people that help little critters...Lucinda and James have helped many little critters over the years get back into nature and live long full lives..over and out, Black Mama

  • Hey to all the Glue Squaders, Dr Pia and Francis!
    What a great blog. Thank you Dr Pia for sharing and please give us up-dates.
    We have squirrels aglore around our house. Max and I would really like to chase them (just for fun, you understand) but Mom and Dad nixes that.
    Dad feeds them corn and peanuts. We have 2 squirrels who walk up on the patio and take peanuts from Dad's hands. Once again, not my idea!
    Gotta go...I hear someone in the kitchen....
    Brutus and Max

  • What a sweet wonderful story Dr. Pia. I hope Frances is getting stronger healthier every day.

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    Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?

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