What the Duck?!?

One Duck’s Ordeal Is Symptom of Carelessness Some Have Toward Animals

by Gigi McWhirter

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It was a Saturday. Casa Grande Animal Control received a call about a duck in the middle of the pond at Dave White Park, which was obviously struggling. That is when Animal Control Supervisor Julie Stocke headed over to the pond, dove in and brought the duck to the shore. The duck was caught up in fishing line with the hook and lure caught in its beak.

It was taken to Casa Grande Animal Hospital, where one of the doctors was able to remove the foreign bodies. Thankfully, there was no serious damage to the duck. According to Stocke, the line was tangled on the fountain in the middle of the pond, which made it impossible for the bird to free itself.

A bystander witnessed the person who “caught” the duck with his fishing line. The fisherman cut the line and took off rather than seeking help for the duck. Once the duck was healed, it was adopted and is living with a great family.

Stocke said, “The fishing line being tossed on the ground and in the pond is also a huge problem there.” Shelter workers have nursed at least half a dozen ducks back to health. One duck’s leg was so entangled in the line it almost severed the leg.

Contrary to popular belief, domesticated animals do not have the same survival instincts as wild animals do. They do not fare well on their own and often die a miserable death either by starvation, drowning, dehydration or accidents.

More that two dozen ducks were dumped at the park over the past year. Not only are ducks being dumped, people are abandoning rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes, turtles, fish, tortoises, even an iguana, and of course dogs and cats.

It is illegal to abandon any animal, with the offense considered animal cruelty and punishable by law. Shooting pigeons or any animal at the park is illegal, too. If you or someone you know can no longer keep an animal, please contact animal control and search for a rescue organization to help you. With a little research you will quickly find there is a rescue group for almost every animal and even breed.

Remember to choose your pet wisely. Read about the personality traits, care, health issues, etc., before you adopt. Make sure you have a backup plan should you need to rehome your pet.

A lot of people have a misconception about animal control shelters. Shelters are designed to offer safe harbor for lost and wounded animals until their owners can be found. Workers there provide compassion, food, water and work tirelessly to try and make sure animals end up in a loving home, often their own.

Make an animal happy by contacting a shelter or rescue to find out how you can volunteer or donate. For more information about Casa Grande Animal Control call 520-426-9300 or visit www.casagrandeaz.gov/police/animal-care-and-control.

Happy Tails to you!