Mississauga animal rescue crews helped more than 5,500 injured, distressed creatures in 2021
Published February 8, 2022 at 11:56 am
From helping a coyote that had its head stuck inside a large plastic jar to rescuing an opossum and her babies that had been struck by a car, Mississauga Animal Services workers responded to all kinds of calls during their busiest year on record in 2021.
In total, City of Mississauga Animal Services crews responded to 5,594 calls of injured or distressed animals last year, compared to 4,459 in 2020.
City officials note that all types of wildlife call Mississauga home–from raccoons, skunks and coyotes to beavers, swans and snapping turtles, and many more creatures in between.
As essential workers, Animal Services teams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to animal-related concerns, both domestic and wildlife.
This opossum and her babies were rescued and brought back into good health after being struck by a car. (Photo: City of Mississauga)
City officials say increased wildlife activity, growing populations and greater urban density are contributing to the rise in emergency calls.
Among the more notable calls Animal Services crews responded to in 2021:
- a chicken was finally captured after almost five months on the loose and before winter set in
- an opossum mother with babies attached to her was hit by a car. Officers transported them to a wildlife rehabilitation centre, where they recovered
- a young merlin (small species of falcon) that fell out of a tree was reunited with its family
- a red-tailed hawk caught in netting was freed and released
- a coyote with a large plastic jar over its head, which prevented it from eating or drinking, was captured and brought to a wildlife rehabilitation centre for treatment
- a snapping turtle crossing a busy road was safely escorted into a nearby creek
- a baby raccoon was stuck in a residential fence and was freed by officers and reunited with its mother
- a family of ducklings was found in a backyard pool. Officers brought them to a nearby stream
This baby raccoon was rescued and reunited with its mother. (Photo: City of Mississauga)
Officials note that in accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, animals returned to the wild need to be released within one kilometre of where they were found.
Meanwhile, Animal Services workers say they also matched their best year on record for cat and dog save rates in 2021.
Numbers show that 96.4 per cent of cats and dogs that came into the shelter, whether they were lost, surrendered or abandoned, were successfully placed through adoption or reunited with their owners.
City officials say education is also a key element of the Animal Services team’s work.
“Helping residents and pet owners understand the best ways to care for their furry loved ones and co-exist with the wildlife just beyond their backyards” is crucial, they say.
Residents who see or encounter an injured, distressed animal or lost pet are urged to call Mississauga Animal Services at 905-896-5858. Calls are taken 24 hours a day.
This chicken was found by rescue crews just before winter arrived. (Photo: City of Mississauga)insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising