9/1/2023  Officer Mullen reports…

I received an early morning call from a concerned homeowner, whose dog alerted him to a couple of baby squirrels on the ground in the backyard. The concerned pup became protective of the babies and was reluctant to have their human help in this situation. Fortunately the homeowner was able to wrangle his pup inside and give our dispatch a call at 415-554-9400. I was in the area and was able to get to his house quickly and assess the situation. In his backyard there were three 5-week-old baby squirrels curled up in the dirt with no mother in sight. They were cold to the touch and barely moving. I quickly gathered them up in a towel and got them back to the van. With the heater blasting in the van, they slowly warmed up and started moving more. I placed them in a low-sided box in the front passenger seat of the van. The smallest one was the coldest and at the stoplight I would rotate the little one in front of the heater. When we arrived back at the shelter, I was able to get them better set up in a box with proper heat support. After some quick warm subcutaneous fluids to help with dehydration and hypothermia, they were left alone in the box to continue the slow warming process. Every so often I would check on them and see that they were continuing to improve as they warmed up.

Squirrels are the most diverse of all modern mammals with more than 278 species thriving anywhere from the Arctic tundra to the tropical rainforests and living in environments from farms to suburbs and even big cities. They are born hairless and are both blind and deaf for the first 8 weeks of life and must be fed every 2-3 hours for several weeks. Mothers often build a second nest in case of danger and will carry the young to the new location if she senses a problem. The young remain with the mother in the den until about 4-5 months of age.

Now that the baby squirrels were improving, I had to start thinking of their next step. Thankfully SFACC has a fantastic partnership with Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue (YUWR) and the founder, Lila. I texted Lila and she was happy to accept them into her rescue. As ACOs we text Lila at all hours of the morning and night, and she is always available to answer our questions and ultimately say yes to most of our intake needs. When we arrive at the rescue, Lila is always there to greet us with open arms and a smile, and sometimes if you’re lucky maybe even a cat or two. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the wonderful work done at YUWR please visit their website and see how you can make a difference to the wildlife in our urban environment.

September 1, 2023 – baby squirrels rescued