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Hello - From Peoria, IL

Tell us a little about yourself, pets or whatever.

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JLO1970
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Location: Peoria, IL

Hello - From Peoria, IL

Postby JLO1970 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:37 pm

Hello! So excited to have located this board and it's parent site. I have a raccoon (female) named Gizmo - we call her Gizzy - that is 5 1/2 months old. I love her to death. It has been an interesting experience to say the least. I am in the process of obtaining my Wildlife Rehabber License and am hoping to continue to have the pleasure of aiding injured and orphaned animals.

It is a pleasure to meet you all.

Jamie
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Cindy23323
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Re: Hello - From Peoria, IL

Postby Cindy23323 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:09 pm

Welcome to the forum
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pat
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Re: Hello - From Peoria, IL

Postby pat » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:03 pm

welcome jamie

I look forward to hearing more about your raccoon and hope to see pictures.
feel free to browse and post in the raccoon forum..
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
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Ash
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Re: Hello - From Peoria, IL

Postby Ash » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:59 am

Hi, and welcome to the forum! I'm originally from Illinois, from the Bureau County area, so I'm pretty familiar with the Peoria area.

Nice to meet you! I look forward to hearing more about the adventures with your sweet little coon.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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JLO1970
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Peoria, IL

Re: Hello - From Peoria, IL

Postby JLO1970 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:27 am

Thank you! I came about having Gizzy from a rehabber's position. So it really doesn't follow proper protocol and I apologize for that and am NOT advocating it in any way.

We live in the "city" but there is enough wooded area to support wildlife that often becomes a nuisance for homeowners that refuse to take a responsible approach. The guy behind us, didn't like them in his trash so he had been illegally live trapping them and my guess would be killing them. We know he was trapping from the horrendous noise when he would cage one and the visual of the traps. (Yes, I reported him.)

On Mother's Day of this year (fitting enough) my husband noticed the dog barking at something in the other neighbor's back yard. Rather than check himself - he had me do it....I bet he regrets that now! 8-) Gizzy was balled up in the damp grass. Originally, I expected it to be a dead critter, so I approached with a disposal mentality. I was concerned that maybe the "bad" neighbor was poisoning the animals and didn't want my dogs chewing on it - and would have turned it over to Animal Control for testing. But she wasn't dead - just cold and dehydrated.

I got her in the house and warmed her up slowly and gave her some water. My estimation by the visuals was about age 5 weeks. We had a spare large dog kennel so we set her up in that. Over the next 4 weeks she bottle fed (an amazing experience) and transitioned to solids. The goal at that time was to transition her for release. I had called my vet who was a licensed rehabber but he didn't think anyone had room for her - so I just hung on to her, knowing I could care for her.

We attempted at one point to acclimate her to a more outdoor environment - but that went horrible. She suffered from anxiety and in retrospect it was too soon. She ended up digging at the bottom of the crate until her little hands were bloody and raw. As soon as I was aware of this, she came back to being fully inside and we were going to give it more time. She ended up at that point...and a huge error on my part for release - sleeping with my husband and I in our bed at night.

Fast forward to about six weeks ago...we were ready to try the release thing again. So I enlisted the help of a licensed rehabber (transitioning takes far less time and effort than bottle feeding) to start the release process. Once we took her there and left...we knew it was the wrong thing to do. Call it gut feeling, call it heartache...the events over the next two weeks turned things around. I decided to pursue my rehabber's license (since I tend to trip over injured or orphaned critters frequently) and wanted to be prepared and protected next time...and the rehabber I was working with agreed to assist and mentor me. I also talked to her about having Gizzy come back to our house, because it can beneficial to have a "teaching" animal for orphans. She agreed. Sadly, about a week later, she called and said that Gizzy was not doing well. Wasn't interacting, not eating. So I rushed to go get her to bring her home. For about a week, I struggled to get her to eat anything - even her favorite treats. She was lethargic, listless and depressed. She also had severe diarrhea. She was drinking and would have short bursts of play but in between, not so much. I was force feeding her Ensure, applesauce and yogurt (this was not a fun process) and treating her with Metronidazole, Baycol and Imodium AD.

My rehabber kept in constant contact with me and was a great help. She also had to sadly inform me that over the following week and a half she lost eight of her young raccoons and another rehabber had lost seven...thoughts were a Distemper epidemic. Miraculously, Gizzy started to pull through. When I picked her up to bring her home, she had lost over 5 pounds (and she wasn't large at that point)...she has gained all that back and then some. (I need to weigh her.) She is back to being a romping little stinker and will be getting her first Distempter vaccine this weekend. Parvo will be the following week and so the series goes. My vet will do a rabies vaccine (even though it will be ineffective on Raccoon rabies - it's more of a feel good thing for others) and we will discuss her spay.

I still have some of the "legal" stuff to get ironed out, but am more than 50% there. I have a cage design drawn up and plan to also build a bigger indoor cage now that she is stabilized and doesn't require restricted space for recovery.

She is so stinking cute and smart! And when I call her to go outside with me (never unsupervised) or to come back in when I am heading in...she runs like the wind to not be left behind. She loves taking showers with me...and would prefer to sleep in the bed with me every night...but we save that for special occasions. She loves the dogs and sees them and my daughter as her brother and sisters...se we have to correct her for rough play on occasion.

I do not advocate keeping wildlife for domestication and that was never our intention...but there is no way I could have saved that little baby only to let her die due to depression or viral infection. Sometimes things work out the way they do for a reason, I guess...had she been found with more of her litter mates, I am certain this would have ended differently. I look forward to sharing more with you all and hearing about all of your critter kids.

Jamie

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