Some news from the Windham County Humane Society:
” Many of us in Windham County know the awesome work done by local wildlife rehabilitator, Patti Smith. Patti has worked for decades with Dr. Ron Svec (WCHS’s newest board member!) of the VT-NH Veterinary Clinic when wildlife needed medical care. When Dr. Svec recently retired, Patti called up the shelter with what she thought was a big ask – would we be willing to allow vets to use our surgery space for wildlife?
The answer was a resounding YES! Former board member and veterinarian Dr. Susan Kelly was also up for the challenge. So when an opossum was injured by a dog, Dr. Kelly gave us a call. Momma possum had four joeys in her pouch. The babies were healthy but mom had a nasty injury 2/3 of the way down her tail. Baby possums need the entire tail because they sometimes hang by their tail. Adults use their tail to gather brush but don’t hang by their tails.
WCHS veterinary technician Mary Jane Rickards donated her time to assist while Dr. Kelly anesthetized the possum and amputated the damaged portion of the tail. A nurse anesthetist also volunteered, administering a nerve block to assist in pain control – first class care, to be sure! While momma possum slept, a bandage and pain medicine were administered. She was happily re-united with her babies as soon as the anesthetic drugs were out of her system.
After two weeks of R&R with close monitoring and frequent bandage changes, the sutures were removed. Mom and babies were returned to where they were found and they trundled off to resume life in the wild (and eat lots of ticks!).
WCHS was delighted to be a part of their journey back to health and freedom. Our mission, after all, is to “ensure the safety and well-being of animals…”. Staff and board are very excited for this new role, to not just serve people and their domestic pets, but to help our wild neighbors as well.”