If you saw an animal in trouble, would you help it?
What if it was a wild animal who might bite pretty hard? When Jannet Talbott saw a squirrel in her yard, she noticed there was something a little off about him. He seemed to be having a hard time eating and looked malnourished.
She knew she had to help him.
“I could see there was something on the side of his face,” Talbott said. “I got closer and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a massive tooth growing out of his mouth.’ One day, I saw him in the feeder. It was like divine intervention. I just had to reach in and grab him.
“His mouth was an absolute mess. His upper incisors were curled around and growing inside his mouth. When he ate, his teeth were rubbing on his face. He was so horrific.”
After taking a closer look, she noticed that the squirrel’s teeth were overgrown.
They were so long that they were spiraling up and over themselves. It was making it hard for the squirrel to eat. If something wasn’t done, the squirrel wasn’t going to live much longer.
“I feel a deep connection with animals, and a duty to advocate for them and be their voice.”
She caught the squirrel, wrapped him in a towel, and tried to calm him down, so she could help. She knew she was going to have to trim his tooth, but that wasn’t going to be easy. She calmed the squirrel by petting him, and eventually, he seemed to start trusting her. She said:
“I do believe animals know when you’re trying to help them.”
She carefully trimmed his teeth.
She could tell that it was a big relief for the little squirrel. She added:
“Once I had him in my hand, I just kept telling him, ‘I’m going to help you, Bucky. You’re going to be OK.’ I went upstairs and got my cuticle trimmers. I wanted to have him nice and calm, so I let him relax for a bit. Then I got my trimmers, swaddled him, and went to work. It took under 10 minutes. He was totally relaxed the whole time. It was kind of serious dentistry, but he was such a good patient.”
Once the tooth was cut, she knew she had to let him go.
She wanted him to have a normal and happy life, and that meant he had to be returned to the wild. She explained:
“I took him outside, and he ran to a branch and started rubbing his little cheeks. It was like he couldn’t believe those teeth were gone. He just kept rubbing his face. The next day, I saw him back in the feeder — and he had the most amazing little squirrel smile on his face. He was just so happy.”
The squirrel was able to eat normally again, and it looked like he was going to be OK. He was even working hard to take care of his newly trimmed tooth. Talbott said:
“I watched him sharpen is newly trimmed incisors on a tree branch… fingers crossed he keeps them worn down.”
Talbott’s kindness may have saved the squirrel’s life.
She shared her story on Facebook in hopes of motivating others to do the right thing and help animals in need. Many people aren’t fans of squirrels and get mad when they take over their birdfeeders.
Source: Jannet Talbott
Talbott doesn’t mind. She believes that all animals are special and deserve to eat and live happy lives.
“We share the planet with animals. If there’s an animal in need that comes across my radar, I wouldn’t think twice, because there’s no better feeling helping an animal. And if what I did for Bucky inspires someone else to help an animal in need, that is honestly a dream come true for me.”
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