Saturday, Mar. 8, 2014
Stray animal problem won't go away on its ownPosted Friday, June 4, 2010, at 10:42 AM
I'm going to share a couple of interesting things that have recently came across my desk.
A Linton resident, Michelle Hollingsworth, called me the other evening upset about an experience she had with a stray, injured kitten that she had taken under her care just prior to a major thunderstorm moving through the area.
Michelle noticed this small yellow kitten trying to move along the sidewalk on A St. (State Road 54) near the old Pizza City building in Linton.
It was dirty, bloody with some obvious injuries. The kitten was unable to move its back legs.
Michelle thought maybe it may have been struck by a passing vehicle, but doesn't know for sure.
Nonetheless, the kitten needed a friend and some help.
Michelle admitted to being an "animal love" and was in tears when she called me about the dilemma she faced.
The Linton woman already had eight cats and four dogs, but said her heart went out to the small kitten that she estimated was three or four months old. She didn't need any more, but she had to help.
Her first moves were to call the Linton Police Department and then the Greene County Sheriff's Department for assistance.
She says she didn't get much help at either place.
She was even told by one dispatcher to just take the kitten back where she found it.
That's hardly a viable solution.
It was also suggested that she contact the Greene County Humane Society.
Well during daytime hours, that might be some OK advice, but after-hours that is another story.
There is no after-hour pickup offered by the mostly volunteer agency that is supported by private donations and yearly contributions from the county, cities and towns in the county.
Regular operating hours "Tuesday through Saturday vary from 11 a.m. - 3 or 4 p.m.", according to the Humane Society's website.
The animal facility located on Atlas Road, west of Linton, is closed on Sunday and Monday.
To Michelle, there needed to be an answer for her problem the other night and sadly to say there wasn't.
"We clearly need something after-hours," she told me. "I think it is sad we have nothing we can do after-hours. If I would have left it (the kitten) there, it would have drown.
"Do we just all just walk away and let it go? I just want this problem to be taken care of in a sensible way."
Unfortunately, this story doesn't have a happy ending.
The following morning, Michelle was able to contact the Linton Veterinary Clinic and they agreed to take a look at the kitten.
The injuries were serious -- a broken pelvis and both back legs were broken.
The kitten was "put down" because of the extent of the injuries at no cost by the vet clinic, which was very much appreciated by the Linton woman.
Michelle's experience begs for some answers that might lead to some common sense solution to this problem.
I realize it takes money and manpower to run an animal shelter and both are tough to come up in this economy where county and municipal agencies are struggling to make ends meet and they are reluctant to expend much money on services like a Humane Society.
Stray animals are a problem that every community in this county faces.
What's the solution?
While we're talking about animals, I also received a recent telephone call from Ron Sparks of Linton inquiring if anyone else in the area may have reported seeing what he contends was a wolverine.
No, not a White River Valley High School Wolverine, a real live stocky and muscular animal with short legs, broad and rounded head, and small eyes with short rounded ears -- a wolverine.
The critter was spotted the other afternoon along the fairway on Hole No. 5 at Phil Harris Golf Course in Linton. The animal was running toward the back of the Elks Lodge building, according to Sparks.
He wasn't sure what it was, but after playing his round of golf, he got on the Internet and found a photograph of the animal and he swears it was a wolverine.
"I am sure that is what it was," he said.
I did some checking myself and found that the wolverine lives primarily in isolated northern areas, for example the arctic and alpine regions of Alaska, northern Canada, Siberia and Scandinavia.
I didn't read anything about Indiana, but who knows?
We recently had a report confirmed and photographed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in Greene County northeast of Bloomfield of a mountain lion and they aren't supposed to be in this neck of the woods either.
So there might be some validity to this sighting.
Who knows, there could indeed be a wolverine lurking around this golf course for this weekend's big tournament.
One note of caution.
The wolverine has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times its size.
So if you see one, it's probably a smart idea to stay away from it.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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