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Old 05-10-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370

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My son and hubby come in and tell me there is a humongous possum sauntering around the backyard, wh/ came right up to them while they were sawing boards for handrails on the deck.

Now, any country girl knows . . . a possum wandering around people in the daylight just ain't right.

Son and I were ready to solve the problem - where's the Mossberg? But no, we realize it is the city limits and someone may get upset about the shotgun being fired . . . so I call 311.

Someone FINALLY answers, and I explain that we need Animal Control, please, as we have a big possum wandering around the back and we suspect it could be rabid.

And what do I get?

A request for my address? Instructions about removing all food/water for any animals and to immediately come inside and wait for Animal Control folks to arrive?

HECK NO.

I get some lame brain who wants to argue w/ me that just b/c an oppossum is walking through our back yard within feet of humans wielding noisy electric equipment, it doesn't mean the animal is rabid or indeed, any threat to anyone, human or beast, and "we don't just dispatch Animal Control b/c a possum is on your property."

I thought - what altered universe am I in?

I said - I have seen many an oppossum and they sure don't normally walk right up to people and saunter around in the daytime, w/ no regard for humans close by, especially when things are noisy - and may I add - with the incessant barking of the neighbor's pit bulls in their fence only yards away.

So I ask - are you gonna dispatch someone or should I just go shoot the damn thing?

Oh, no no, you can't shoot it! she says.

Watch me. You send someone over or that is one dead possum.

So here I sit, on Mother's Day, waiting for the Animal Control people. They send this dear lady who reminds me of my momma.

I can just tell . . . no one is gonna be removing that possum from my property, today.

The lady looks around, jabs at the ground, and is gone in less than 15 minutes.

Her advice? If I see the possum again, throw a net over the possum or put the top of my Weber grill over it and call them.

I tell her thank you, but if I am gonna get that close to a potentially rabid possum, it will be to shoot it, not try to save it for Animal Control.

Good grief!!!!!

Yeah, 311. Great service!!! Thanks for nothing.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:30 PM
 
1,039 posts, read 2,666,075 times
Reputation: 481
I've had great service from 311 and bad. I think it is a crap shoot. It sounds like the person who handled your call relayed her assumptions to the animal control person and therefore you have wound up kind of SOL... I say stay away and don't hesitate to use the gun if you need to then call animal control yourself on Monday, speak with a Supervisor and maybe they will understand why you are concerned. Anyone who understands how nocturnal animals should behave would also be alarmed by your senario. Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:40 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkleoni1 View Post
I've had great service from 311 and bad. I think it is a crap shoot. It sounds like the person who handled your call relayed her assumptions to the animal control person and therefore you have wound up kind of SOL... I say stay away and don't hesitate to use the gun if you need to then call animal control yourself on Monday, speak with a Supervisor and maybe they will understand why you are concerned. Anyone who understands how nocturnal animals should behave would also be alarmed by your senario. Good luck!
Thanks, GK. Yeah, both the 311 operator and the Animal Control person said - Oh, possums sometimes wander around during the day.

I thought - in the bright sunshine? I have seen them wander around early in the morning or late in the evening on cloudy days, but even then - they scurry - they don't just amble around and go very slow when there is noise.

The A/C person said - oh, they are used to you so that is why they came right up to you.

Oh really. We have dogs yapping next door, I have a dog and cat, and this possum is used to hanging out here all day and not being intimidated by the other animals or the noise? Yet we have never seen him before? Okay. Whatever.

I was raised that if you see a raccoon or possum during the day, and they are moving slow or seem totally impervious to noise and humans, then you need to consider they could be rabid. I have seen a rabid raccoon and he was not gnashing teeth - he was wandering around in broad daylight, and stood up and hissed when we threw a rock at him to scare him off. So . . . I dunno.

The rabies warnings are out, but then I get told to trap him myself. Oh, and the parting words of wisdom: GOOD LUCK!!!!
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
One of my neighbors has informed me that possums rarely carry rabies, so at least that is good news.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,813 posts, read 55,762,637 times
Reputation: 18988
Hate to rain on your parade, but rarely is not never.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Lake Wylie, SC
299 posts, read 948,616 times
Reputation: 101
So 311 is like 911 for wild animal emergencies? Interesting.

I'm with you on this one... you have a legitimate concern, IMO.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:23 PM
 
873 posts, read 1,539,252 times
Reputation: 480
Oppossums have NEVER been known to carry rabies (except when it was induced in a laboratory), and one walking during the day could have been disturbed. To have one walk through your yard is one of the lamest reasons I've ever heard of to kill it. They are harmless animals and the worst "damage" they can do is eat your pet food or die under your house!

Last edited by bugguy; 05-10-2009 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:29 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,725,143 times
Reputation: 1041
311 is Charlotte's non-emergency and information line. You can report or request info on just about any City or County service that's not an emergency through it.

Ani, I can tell you that 311, for the most part, will bend over backwards to remedy any problem...ESPECIALLY a disgruntled customer. I filed a complaint about a bus driver once and got no less than 3 letters from the City Manager's office assuring me that the situation would be investigated thoroughly and rectified as needed. Judging by the fact that the same bus driver did not do that bad thing anymore, I know something happened...and rather quikly too.

My suggestion is to call again and file a complaint, or better yet, write or email the City Manager explaining what happened. Not that you want anyone to get into trouble, but I'd bet you'd like to see their procedure change for how to handle these sitautions. I do know for a fact that the 311 operators act off of que cards/prompts that come up on their computer screen. If the suggestion/solution is not on that screen, you're not going to get it! So in this case, someone obviously thinks it's no warranted to send out Animal Control for the symptoms you mentioned. And on the same note, we can't expect all 311 operators to have knowledge ranging from trash cans and storm water flooding to rabid animals and sketchy neighbors. They need these que/prompts to guide them...but on the same token, they will need our help to refine their system to make it better for all.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:34 PM
 
1,039 posts, read 2,666,075 times
Reputation: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugguy View Post
Oppossums have NEVER been known to carry rabies, and one walking during the day could have been disturbed. To have one walk through your yard is one of the lamest reasons I've ever heard of to kill it. They are harmless animals and the worst "damage" they can do is eat your pet food or die under your house!
Taking into account that Ani had reason to believe the opposum had rabies, she was not considering killing it b/c it was walking in her yard but to protect herself & family. Also it is not beyond reason that she would not be aware that they NEVER carry rabies, I doubt the average person would have that knowledge. It may have been more helpful to just assure her she had no need to worry.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:51 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSagess View Post
So 311 is like 911 for wild animal emergencies? Interesting.

I'm with you on this one... you have a legitimate concern, IMO.
Yes, we have 311 service so that 911 is not tied up w/ "non-emergency" calls. So if you have a problem - such as a fire hydrant spewing water or an animal control issue - you can call 311 and they will dispatch the right service to help you with your problem.

What gets me, Sagess and SouthernBelle - is the way I was talked to about this situation. I am not an ignorant person who gets hysterical about wildlife. I have lived in rural situations and I know how possums act and I know and understand their habits and habitat. We have a mountain house, and we have ongoing issues w/ raccoons and possums (as in WEEKLY, continual problems). They are very selective creatures as far as choosing their times to come out and raid the garbage . . . usually after 2 am and they are at least somewhat hesitant if we have the outdoor perimeter lights on.

We had one possum hanging in a tree right at our house, LOL. So we are not unaccustomed to having to deal with nocturnal creatures.

But the keyword is - NOCTURNAL.
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