Let’s talk about Austin, Texas as it relates to the protection and care of wildlife species. I have always heard that Austin, Texas is a certified “bird sanctuary” city. Not hardly. Although it has set aside thousands of acres to help preserve various animal habitats, i.e. warblers and salamanders, it greatly lacks in terms of offering help to injured animals once they are outside of those “protected” environments and sitting injured in your back yard or street. One would think there would be hundreds of resources in this city to help are befriended creatures. After all, we are the “Bat Capital of The World.” Our companies’ name, Town Lake Construction gets mixed up in the phone book directory with Town Lake Animal Shelter. We receive a lot of phone calls daily, because of this, from well meaning people trying to get rid of a bat/bird or to get help for an injured or displaced animal. I always listen politely to their story, before I tell them I can’t help and to call Wildlife Rescue. If you are not familiar with this organization, they are a voluntary group of certified wildlife rehabilitators who tend to these injured animals. However, with their limited staff and budget, there is only so much Wildlife Rescue can do. Can you believe that Wildlife Rescue Service is just about the only place in Austin where you can get help for an injured bat, bird, etc? It’s time for the City of Austin to do more for injured wildlife. How ‘bout we get rid of a few of the city-supported Condo projects and fund more groups, like Wildlife Rescue.
Here are a few helpful phone numbers and agencies I have found in preparing for this article:
* Call 3-1-1 to report: Stray pets (cats excluded), animal bites (9-1-1 for emergency), animal cruelty (9-1-1 for emergency), injured wildlife, or to report the findings of a dead blue jay, crow, or hawk.
* Call (512) 389-4848 (Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden) to report an injured deer.
* Call (512) 472-WILD (Wildlife Rescue) to report other injured wildlife.
* Call (512) 854-9613 (Animal Damage & Control) to report problem coyotes.
* The North Austin Emergency veterinarian clinic is located at 12034 Research Blvd. in Austin; (512) 331-6121
* The South Austin Emergency veterinarian clinic is located at 4434 Frontier Trail in Austin; (512) 899-0955
* For information on Texas animal cruelty laws, visit http://www.animallaw.info/topics/spustexascruelty.htm
* For information about West Nile Virus, contact the Health Department at 1-888-883-9997