This morning I decided to walk the dogs from home, rather than drive them to Burns Beach for a walk. I sent Stephen off with the car but forgot to take the dog leads out. I have spare leads but no spare Halti for Jet. She’s still almost impossible to walk without it, so we delayed our walk until 8:30 and then walked by the pet shop to pick up another one. Then we called into the Vet for a weigh-in. Anzac has put on a little weight lately and I wanted to be sure just where they are starting from with the diet change. Anzac 25.6kg, Jet 15kg.
We headed from there to the nearby park with duckponds and wandered around the ponds, saying hello to other dogs. Anzac insisted on walking along the ledge around one of the ponds, just like a kid, hoping he could ‘accidentally’ step into the water. I’ve seen that one done before so there was no way I was going to be caught by that.
As we were walking past the bigger pond (and Jet was trying to convince me that the ducks needed rounding up) someone pointed out a Cormorant, on the island, with a plastic bag either caught on it’s beak or in it’s throat. It looked quite distressed, continually shaking it’s head and trying to dislodge the bag, so I pulled out the phone to call the local council. After several attempts my call was answered and I was put through to the ranger who told me they couldn’t help, I’d have to call either Wildcare or the RSPCA. I tried the Wildcare hotline, but couldn’t get an answer, so I called the RSPCA. They told me they couldn’t help and that I’d have to call Wildcare. I explained that I’d already tried and was told that I’d have to either try again or call The Department of Environment and Conservation‘s main number. I tried Wildcare again but still couldn’t get through so called DEC who were able to put me through to Wildcare. The lady on the hotline was very concerned but couldn’t do anything for me – I’d have to call Seabird Rescue. I explained to the Wildcare volunteer that I was there in the park with 2 dogs and that I’d been on the phone trying to get help with this for nearly half an hour, she said she couldn’t do anything, she’s was only there to answer calls and give advice about who to call next. She couldn’t call out herself. So, I called Seabird Rescue and explained the problem. That volunteer didn’t sound very enthusiastic about helping at all. She did say she would try to get a volunteer to go out and see whether they could do anything but that if the bird can fly, then when it’s approached they probably won’t be able to catch it anyway. She sounded like she had an ‘I don’t know why we’d even bother’ attitude. I wasn’t very impressed but there really wasn’t anything else I could do.
I called into the Vet again on my way home just to check whether there was someone else I could have contacted, but no, Seabird Rescue is who they would have had to call. The Vet nurse said she would follow up on it with them for me. Apparently they are usually very good and always send someone out. I know that many of these organisations are run by volunteers, but it shouldn’t be so difficult to get help for a distressed animal. Surely the Ranger at the local council could have handled it all, so I wasn’t there looking up numbers on my phone and being passed from pillar to post. But then again, she didn’t even know the right group for me to call. And neither did the person at the RSPCA.