Monday, July 6, 2015

Ohio Wildlife Center Hospital- working the front desk

Now that I have been interning at the hospital for more than half of the internship I have really gotten into a routine. One day I work in the hospital and the other I work the front dest, hotline, and at the pre release facility.

The pre release facility is a great place to work knowing that these animals will be released into the wild the way the are supposed to be. We give them their daily diet (written on a white board in the kitchen). Each enclosure is on the white board with a list of what animals are inside and what they eat. While feeding and watering we make sure to clean up any old food or debris. The resident pigeons are also cleaned and fed. They enclosure is swept and hosed. New feed with grit and straw are added as well as water. We also care for the mice colonies. They are spot cleaned and fed lab blocks and cat food as treats. While cleaning them we also write down how many females, males, and babies are in each cage.

I check the hotline almost every Tuesday afternoon depending on what other volunteers are there for the day. We go through and write down all the information in the voicemail in the hotline log to be kept for OWC. Once all the voicemails have been heard we start to call back. Sometimes a solution is easy to find. If the caller is sure a baby is orphaned we have them bring them in. If not we ask them to keep and eye out for the mother (since the mom is usually around more often than the caller realizes). Other calls are unique and hard to answer. There have been many calls about white domestic ducks, which OWC cannot take in. If they are injured sometimes they can be brought in to be euthanized to end the suffering of the duck. Otherwise the duck must be taken to a regular vet. Returning hotline calls is very important and often gets my creative side working as finding the best solution can be a challenge.

Working the front desk is not only about taking in animals that people bring but helping the customer fill out the paperwork and explaining to them what will happen to the animal. This can be rather difficult when the outcome doesn't look good or when there isn't a way for us to know until we have had the animal for a few days. It is my job at the front desk to organize and enter paperwork into the database. This can become confusing when an animals goes to multiple home cares or when a group of baby bunnies has some survivors but others that don't make it. On really busy days its easy to get behind on paperwork but there are usually multiple people around to help throughout the day. Once and animal is release or dies/ is euthanized this is entered in the data base. Sometimes this is the hardest part of my job as you can see the number of animals that don't make it. There are days where many need to be entered as euthanized which can seem extremely sad but I remind myself every day that we are caring for these animals in the best way possible and ending their suffering if necessary. I am also very happy to enter all of the paper work for released animals as well.

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