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Animal Emergency Hotline:


Office: 707-992-0274

Exclusion: 707-992-0276

403 Mecham Rd,

Petaluma, CA 94952

Mailing Address:
PO Box 448,
Cotati, CA 94931





Wildlife Tours:  *May-September at 12 and 2 pm*
Wildlife Exclusion Service:   Need help with humane evictions?
*We have a lot of important news to share with you this month. Please scroll down after the Executive Director's Message for three more exciting articles.*


Our Wildlife Emergency Response Service


 Veterinary Dr. Morrison is Assisted by SCWR




On August 21st, we responded to a call on our emergency cell phone from Sonoma, where Dr. Morrison was very concerned about a raccoon in an illegal leg hold trap. Not only are these traps illegal, but they are very cruel and inhumane. This was not the first time we have dealt with a raccoon in a leg hold trap and these calls are very stressful and dangerous for all involved.


Because we were working with a veterinarian, we were able to use a sedative that is usually administered by a pole syringe. Once the animal was sedated, we removed its front paw from the jaws of the steel trap that was holding it in a crushing fashion. The paw looked pretty bad, but there was no way of knowing just how bad the damage was until we could get it radiographs. As I write this newsletter article, the raccoon patient is on its way to see Dr. Dan Famini who will make an assessment regarding the treatment or euthanasia of the raccoon in a leg hold trap.


Realtor Fred Gets Rescued


On August 19th , we responded to a caller on our Wildlife Exclusion Service phone from Santa Rosa, who had a very urgent question. What is a raccoon doing in the closet? This was Realtor Fred's first reaction when he arrived at one of his listings in Santa Rosa to get it ready to put on the market. Being a wildlife lover, Fred spent quite a bit of time calling many local agencies that he thought could help him and was finally referred to us. We asked Fred questions that helped us prepare for our response to this emergency situation. When we discovered the raccoon was also the mother of 3 babies, we had a good idea of the challenges that faced us.


Upon arriving at our rescue site, I assessed the situation and came up with a plan. The raccoon was in the very top part of the closet 8 feet up and 6 feet across. There were cupboards that opened and closed along the top closet section. We could see the 3 newborn kits, each in different areas of the closet. The mother was very young and quite stressed. As I reached in to get her kits, I kept a watchful eye on mom as I took out her ice cold offspring. They were put on heat right away and we then proceeded to catch the mother.


Our main concern was to keep the family together for better chances of success back to the wild and keeping in mind that it costs us $500 to care for each kit without their mother. We had already closed the bedroom door where the raccoon family had taken occupancy and blocked off the windows to prevent a terrified raccoon crashing through the glass. After several tries, we finally caught the mother with a catch pole and lowered her into an awaiting kennel for transport back to our wildlife hospital.


After completely warming the three raccoon kits and treating them with rounds of fluid therapy, we reunited mom and offspring in a den box in our Wildlife Community so we could return them to their place of origin OUTSIDE the house they once occupied. It was a happy ending for all. We thank Fred for his donation for the emergency service we provided.


Meet Carol, What You Don't Know Won't Hurt 




On August 4th at 9:30am we responded to a caller on our business phone from Guerneville, who was frantically trying to find help while she hid in her bathroom from a bat that had somehow gotten into her bedroom. She did not know how long it had been there. When she came out of her bathroom to check on it, she could still see it flying around and immediately left her room and went into the main part of her house, closing the door behind her.  I let her know that I would be there in about 2 hours. She let me know she was going to go into town to do some errands while she waited for us to get there.


When we arrived, she explained to us how she first encountered the bat and where it was in her house. As we started to go into her bedroom to search for the bat, my assistant who was filming the rescue noticed the bat had attached itself to the back of the lady's shoulder. We delicately alerted her and she quickly took off her sweater and left the area. We were able to quickly contain the bat and take it away.  We were all quite shocked to think she had likely taken the bat into town with her unknowingly, to do her errands. This is a good example of, "What you don't know, won't hurt." Please click here to see video of the rescue and video of Carol's testimonial of our emergency services. We thank Carol for her donation for the emergency service we provided that morning.


We have a seven days a week, 9:00am to 10:00pm wildlife hotline service where our volunteers are trained to help the public with wildlife issues. These emergency calls mentioned above are handled quite differently than our wildlife hotline service.


The limited staff at SCWR responds at an emergency level to assist all animal control and law enforcement agencies as well as the residents of Sonoma County. This means we drop everything, no matter how busy we are or if we are even scheduled to work that day. There is no funding from any government entity for this service. We are professional and highly skilled at these types of wildlife emergency situations.


We get close to 1200 calls a month or more, between our wildlife hotline, business office, A Wildlife Exclusion Service and mobile emergency phones. All though most of these are not handled at an emergency level, we still provide an outstanding educational resource to Sonoma County. Our AT&T phone bill for all of our communication lines is close to $4000 a year, not to mention the fuel costs to get to the rescue sites spread out all across our county.


We look forward to continuing to help our Community and invite you to help us as Supporters. Our End-of-the-Year plea for help should be ready for your viewing by October. Our rescue stories are one of the many reasons we feel worthy of your support. You have made all these acts of kindness possible so far. We consider your donations "love to the rescue".


Sincerely yours,


Doris Duncan
Executive Director 

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue
Registered 501(c)(3) Non Profit.


Drought, Wildlife, and You


It's the normal time of year when young wildlife are starting out on their own for the first time.  However, with the drought, this year's juveniles are having a more difficult time than their parents did.  There's less food and water available, and they aren't as skilled at finding it. The search causes them to venture closer to human inhabited areas where there is greater risk of conflict with humans, dogs, and cars. We've had more than the usual number of calls from people with wildlife causing trouble in their backyard. So what can we do?


First, let's all remember that we were all teenagers once and caused our own fair share of trouble. Second, there are ways to make your backyard less likely to be a raccoon playground. Pick up fallen fruit, don't leave trash out overnight, never leave pet food outside, and be aware that fallen birdseed from bird feeders will also attract animals. Animals that are getting too close can be sprayed with the hose to discourage them. Finally, we sell Predator Scent, which is mountain lion, bobcat, and coyote scat. Scattering the Predator Scent tells the animals that there is a dangerous predator in the area and encourages them to move along. It's $25 for a quart and $50 for a gallon. It comes with instructions.


If, on the other hand, your are worried about the animals suffering from the drought, please do not put out food! This can keep artificially high populations of animals when the habitat does not support it, among many other problems. For this same reason, it is better not to put out water. If you must put out water, please clean the water bowl with 10% bleach solution each day to prevent disease transmission.


Let's all stick together to survive this drought!



Pints for Paws


Mark your calendars, circle the date in red, this is going to be one party you won't want to miss! Tuesday, November 11,  from 5:30 to 8:00PM, Lagunitas Brewing Company is hosting us for Pints for Paws, our annual fundraiser. We'll have live music from the Pulsators and Dylan Chambers and the Midnight Transit, great Lagunitas beer, non-alcoholic libations provided by Whole Foods,  and tacos from Velascos! We're also offering a silent raffle. Cover is just $10 and the proceeds all go to helping our wildlife patients. We can't wait to see you there! Bring all your friends and relatives and we'll have a great time together!



Volunteers on Video


This month we were offered an amazing opportunity.  Alexandra Wayne and John Harper of Primal Focus Productions  offered to create a short promotional video for SCWR on any specific topic we chose.  We decided we wanted a video to showcase all volunteers do here, so prospective volunteers can get a better sense of how they could help. John and Alex came out and we had a wonderful day filming the site and interviewing our volunteers. A big thank you to all those volunteers who consented to be interviewed! We hope to have the video on our website in the fall, so you can see their great work. Thanks John and Alexandra!