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Old 10-05-2010
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I would agree with AMB about getting the large animals out of the freezer. I own a vet. hospital. I have had a few very large dogs come into that freezer where it took me and two staff members to lower it into the freezer so as not to break the freezer. (The dogs were over 200 lbs.) The crematory driver was going to have a hard time getting those out by himself. We had a few staff members balance a portable stretcher on the edge of the freezer while the two strongest people reached into the freezer to grab the bags containing the animals. (The animals were wrapped in more than one bag since they were that huge.) The bags (or if the broke open) were lifted by the two onto the stretcher that was being supported on the freezer and by the other staff members. Then, depending on how much the animal weighed and/or how strong the people were that were available, 2-4 people helped carry the stretcher to the van waiting outside. (The freezer is in the back end of our building and you have to walk the full distance of the hospital and part of the width to get to the parking lot.

We've been able to get the animals out without anyone getting hurt.

Now, working as the ACO, I was hurt once where I had to get a dead Rotweiler out of a 3rd floor apartment complex and to the ACO truck. I made it most of the way but got hurt in trying to lift the dog into the truck. Luckily, two Good Samaritans saw me struggling and helped me get it into the truck. Let's just say, the dog definitely outweighed me. I used old blankets, etc, to slide the dog down the stairs and out of the building. Once I got to the shelter, some of the men helped me get it into the freezer.

As far as everything else, I don't have that much experience in the field to answer those questions.
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Old 10-06-2010
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In re: skunks. Fortunately, they will usually warn you before they spray:
  1. First warning: tail straight up in air. Translation: "Watch it! You're pushing my buttons!"
  2. Second warning: stamping hard with forefeet. Translation: "That's it! Here it comes!"
You can stop at that point, and have them not spray you, but if you keep going, there will be no third warning.

So the idea is to go really, really slowly, and watch them carefully. If they stamp their feet, stop dead and wait until they visibly relax again (tail goes down, they stop looking at you). Their eyesight is terrible, so you will blend right back into the background in a minute or two, as far as they're concerned. But you have to be pretend to be an old Indian hunter or something, and actually be willing to be still and silent for however long it takes. Most palefaces are notoriously lousy at that part, of course, but it's always very satisfying to be able to prove that it's possible even for us(and it definitely works).

Depending on the animal and the situation, of course, not being sprayed can be easy, difficult, or impossible. Sick, comatose youngster? Pretty simple. Lively, pissed-off adult stuck in netting? Not so much. However, savoir faire is desirable, no matter the outcome.

I used to keep a cheap clear plastic shower curtain in my truck -- you can hold it up in front of you to deflect spray, but you can still see through it. (I guess the most ideal thing would be a mostly white or green one with clear spots, so that the skunk couldn't see all of you, but you could see it through the spots, you big mean predator you.) I have also found that softly singing lullabies will help. What the hell kind of predator sings before it grabs you, eh?

Good luck and welcome to the joys of the field.

It's not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts. (J.M. Lawrence)

Last edited by stmelangell; 10-06-2010 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 10-07-2010
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Wow! Thanks for all the info.

Um no I do not like the smell of skunks but it's just not a foul odor for me. Maybe it's because I have smelled worse.

We don't get guns so shooting an animal is out of the question.

I must have spoke with a wish in mind because I found out yesterday my job title has changed! I am now an Animal Control Officer 1. I was shocked when I read the email. Could care less when they look into the money portion of it. If I wanted to be rich I wouldn't be doing this. I finally got what I wanted. It only took 5 1/2 years.

My job duties will be the same.

I am asking for help with the freezers. I also have learned that I can fit inside the deep freezer and it's easier to get inside vs bending over and put the bodies on the dolly and transport that way to my truck.

The yellow jacket spray I am going to get as soon as I can. Thank you for that. Yellow jackets scare me and I don't know why they are still out this time of year.

Now I am looking forward to going to the NACA Level 1 training next year when they come to Portland. HAPPY!!!
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Old 10-07-2010
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As far as getting in the freezer, be careful. I did that once when I was a tech. and slipped on the ice on the bottom of the freezer.

As far as finding out your title has changed, I just got an e-mail this weekend stating that I am in charge this weekend since it is a holiday which included in my title that I'm a cruelty investigator. They never really acknowledged that for one of the towns that I cover. It is strange that they would rather notify us by e-mail than by telling us in person.

Good luck in the job.
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Old 10-13-2010
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Originally Posted by Breal76 View Post
Also I was sent out on an sick skunk call. When I asked every Officer "How do you catch a skunk without getting skunked?"
We apparently have a policy that we don't handle nuisance skunks. OKC AWD just educates the public on how to handle 'em themselves.
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