Thursday, June 21, 2012

Letter to the Editor - Be Wildlife Aware...Please - from, Charity Maness

When I moved to Copperopolis I tried to become aware of the issues both environmental and population based. I quickly learned that the parcel of land I was residing on belonged to the wildlife first, I was the trespasser. With this realization came my acceptance that at least once a year I would lose a new born goat (kid) or chicken to a coyote, raccoon, fox, hawk, owl, etc.  I also learned that I would need to share my garden with rodents or be proactive and put mesh down before I planted.  Why share my garden and not just put out mole poison? Well let me tell you...

In the past two years I have lost two family dogs to secondary poisoning.

Secondary poisoning is the poisoning of a domestic or or wild animal by ingestion of a poisoned animal. Which means when a neighbor one acre or more away chooses to poison moles, those moles - looking for a place to rehydrate and/or die - walk through their labyrinth of tunnels coming out, who knows where, to the surface, making easy pickin's for domestic animals and wildlife alike.

The death is painful, especially when an anticoagulant rodenticide (most common) is used, causing internal bleeding.

There is no fence that keeps these poisoned rodents out, no shot to protect your pet, and no guarantee that the vet can save your pets life once the poison is ingested. I beg of you to please be aware of the chemicals in and around your home, for the local wildlife and your own pets sake.

 *The risk of secondary poisoning of cats and dogs is greatly increased with the anticoagulant-type rodenticides because weak, bleeding, dehydrated mice and rats often come out into the open to look for water: this makes them easy pickings for alert felines and canines.  Pets that ingest these baits develop an inability to clot their blood and this results in a wide range of symptoms including: wounds that won't stop bleeding, injection sites that won't stop bleeding, large bruises on the body or gums, acute swelling of one or more joints, swelling of regions of skin (big, bruised lumps called hematomas under the skin), sudden swelling of the abdomen (if the animal hemorrhages into the belly cavity), difficulty breathing (if the hemorrhage occurs within the chest cavity or lungs), coughing up of blood, vomiting of blood, defecation of blood, pale to white gum colour and, in severe cases, collapse of the animal and signs of shock.

Please be wildlife aware when using chemicals and pesticides.

*Source of secondary poisoning information