How many people do you know who will go 20 miles, pick up a sick golden eagle, hold it in her arms (with its lice crawling up her own), nurse it back to health and, a few weeks later, release a healthy bird?
How many people do you know who will feed baby birds ever 20 minutes to an hour (a mixture of mashed egg yolks, strained chicken and assorted insects), taking them with her on errands, if necessary?
How many people do you know who will adopt orphan fawns, feed them goat milk from local farmers, raise them and turn them out in safe places when they can care for themselves?
How many people do you know who on a cold, snowy January day will go 30 miles, pick up an injured deer when the Wildlife Department was unable to do so, take it in the family pickup to a snug, warm barn and supervise months of rehabilitation?
How many people do you know, who (along with Dr. Perry Price) will mend broken bones, give shots and other medications, treat wounds and nurse all sorts of birds and four-legged critters back to health?
Bear in mind, as you are reading this, that all this has been a labor of love by Shirley Miller (with the help of Wes), done on a totally volunteer basis. How much money do you think they have spent during the 51 years that Shirley has had her Rehabilitator's License?
To have a young woman from the Fish and Wildlife Department in Olympia give Shirley stupid requirements that must be followed or lose her license is infuriating! So, Shirley has reluctantly given it up.
That leaves no one in our area to care for sick and injured wildlife. How many folks can transport them to Yakima, Pullman or Pendleton? And, our overworked Fish and Wildlife agents are left with the option of leaving sick, orphaned and injured willdlife to die slow deaths or to destroy them. These agents feel Shirley and Wes have been godsends and are very upset.
This is a travesty. It is bureaucracy gone astray. How can we correct this? (Somehow, I have been laboring under the assumption that the Department of Fish and Wildlife had a mandate to protect our wild things -- guess this assumption was wrong.) I hope the department will reverse its wrong-headed policies!
It has already started -- just this past week Shirley has turned away an injured great horned owl, kestrel and sparrow -- so sad.!