I looked at the GA rehab list and told her I didn’t see her on the list, and she immediately retracted her lie, admitting that she was NOT, in fact, licensed but that she’d “rehabbed” several owls before. I informed her that holding birds without the proper permits was a violation of state and federal law, and she quickly said she knew this; she was a former law enforcement officer but she didn’t know who to call. Odd that she managed to locate me after the novelty of having the hawk wore off...
Upon first glance at the bird, it was obvious the leg was broken, and I could smell that nasty odor from the excrement indicating that there were internal injuries, as well. Additionally, the right eye was filled with blood and a whitish speck in the pupil led me to believe there was either a luxated lens or a detached retina—not that it mattered. The right leg was snapped at the knee—an unfixable fracture. The bird could not stand; it was lethargic; its breathing was shallow—in short, the bird was dying. I ended his suffering quickly and humanely—which I could have done two days earlier had he been brought to me in a timely fashion. Oral bleeding upon euthanasia indicated that my initial assessment of internal injuries was correct.
In the meantime, it would be LOVELY if DNR and FWS would make very public examples of some of these untrained, unlicensed individuals who do more harm than good, both to the wildlife they hold illegally and to the reputations of properly permitted rehabbers throughout the state.
Folks, THIS is why I hate people. And believe me, I’m not nearly as calm as this entry would indicate. I’m fuming, and reporting this individual to the state and feds and making her my first Hall of Shamer for 2014 is my way of venting that fury.