HELPING THE WILD CREATURES
"I was a stricken deer, that left the herd/ Long since.” -William Cowper
“I feel like I'm nothing without wildlife. They are the stars. I feel awkward without them.” ~Bindi Irwin
Though most of us in Southern Westchester County, New York live in what we may describe as ‘urban suburbia’, we, nonetheless, seem to continuously encounter wildlife. Whether it is in our own backyards or in the many green areas including county and state parks, gardens, and woods in our midst, it is not rare anymore to see a red fox, coyote, cottontail rabbit, raccoon, opossum, and, of course, abundant deer.
The veterinarians at Petchester Veterinary believe that it is each of our responsibilities to help protect native animal populations. We try to do our part by providing veterinary services for injured wildlife. We have also provided veterinary services to nature organizations like the Greenburgh Nature Center who have live animal museums which help educate the public about wild animals and their habitats. We also provided veterinary consulting services for an immuno-contraceptive trial on white tail deer in the lower Hudson River community of Hastings-on-Hudson. This trial was deemed successful, though unfortunately only temporarily, since it was cost prohibitive to implement on a long term basis. The hope was for it to manage the negative impact of the deer overpopulation on herd health as well as the ecology of the local environment.
Petchester Veterinary also feels that it is our role to help educate our clientele and the public about zoonotic diseases--which are diseases transferred from animals to man. Given that rabies is an endemic problem in wildlife in our area, especially in raccoons, skunks, and bats, we need to all use caution when encountering wildlife for both our pets’ protection as well as for our own protection. Since all warm-blooded species are susceptible to rabies, vaccinating your pets for rabies is crucial and mandatory by law. There are many other zoonoses that are possible like aberrant round or hookworm infestations or bacterial infections like leptospirosis or tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease or Ehrlichiosis. We must all learn how to live in harmony with native wildlife protecting them and protecting ourselves.