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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : blogs_old : ability and accountability August 28, 2014

Ability and Accountability
By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ
rhaddad@westernnews.com
"[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

-- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Baby owl was worth saving

 By Richard Haddad

This baby owl looked frightened and alone as cars zipped past on Glassford Hill Road. From what we learned, local police and fire personnel responding to wildlife calls have fewer options because Game & Fish units no longer respond after hours.

I am grateful for local police and fire personnel in Prescott Valley who placed value on a small life earlier this month.

At about 7:30 p.m. the evening of May 15 my wife and I took the Glassford Hill exit off Highway 89A and were alarmed when we almost struck what looked like a stone garden statue placed in the middle of the road.

We made a U-turn to investigate and as we came around two golden eyes and a slowly pivoting head on the statue followed us throughout the maneuver. The statue turned out to be a live baby owl that had fallen from its nest in the overpass.

It was large for an owlet, but still had the downy covering of a hatchling. It clearly could not yet fly and it seemed frightened and alone. We later learned the reason for its unusual size was because it was a Great Horned Owl.

Cars and trucks were zipping past the owlet and we feared it would be struck at any moment. We parked the car and did our best to shoo it to the side of the road where it would be a little safer.

We tried to call Game & Fish, but because of the late hour we ended up contacting the dispatchers at the Prescott Valley Police Department. I was impressed that the dispatchers sent out an officer right away.

Prescott Valley Police Officer Emilio Rodriguez expressed sincere concern for the owlet. We could not see the nest in the dark, and we did not want to move it out to a nearby field for fear that a larger predator would kill it.

Officer Rodriguez explained that they have fewer options because Game & Fish personnel no longer take these kinds of calls after hours. I do not know if this is a new budget restraint, but it sounded like a recent change.

My wife and I had to leave, but Officer Rodriguez assured us he would do something to help.

We later learned from a news article in the Prescott Valley Tribune that he and others had done something -- something above and beyond expectations.

In the news article by reporter Cheryl Hartz we learned that Officer Rodriguez called Animal Control. Animal Control then contacted a bird handler and Central Yavapai Fire District, who found the nest.

One CYFD engine responded, but the ladders weren't tall enough to reach the nest so they got permission from Central Yavapai Battalion Chief Cougan Carothers to send a truck company.

Carothers later explained that while returning the owlet to the nest containing its two siblings, another hopped out and was put back. Carothers noted the owl rescue was a departure from the stereotypical cat-in-a-tree scenario.

"Just when you think you've seen it all, something like this comes along," he said in the article.

In the end, the owlet was saved because police and fire personnel, and a volunteer bird handler cared enough to do something beyond easy.

After learning of this rescue operation some people have expressed concern over whether this baby owl was worth the resources extended to save it. My wife and I are probably the wrong people to ask because we looked into those deep round golden eyes and saw something more than a baby owl, we saw a piece of our amazing world -- a reminder that there is still much wonder and discovery waiting for us in life, and it's worth protecting and respecting.

Thank you Prescott Valley Police and Central Yavapai firefighters for sharing that respect. Thank you also to the anonymous bird handler.

What we do and how we care speaks much louder than our words, and I was proud to tell my children of your noble actions.

Related Links:
• See original story on PVtrib.com

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Article comment by: lisa G.

Great story! :)

Posted: Friday, June 08, 2012
Article comment by: Sue Scott

As someone who has done may wildlife rescues here in SW Florida of a similar nature, I can say wholeheartedly, yes, it was worth it! Our reason for these public resources is to save lives. Why should those lives only be human? When wildlife is impacted by humans, as this baby was, we need to become a beacon of hope, Thank you!

Posted: Friday, June 01, 2012
Article comment by: Sue Sammarco

It is heartwarming to read such a great story when so many people went the extra step. It is yet another story about the great people in our community who do care about one another and about life in our communities. Thank you everyone!

Posted: Friday, June 01, 2012
Article comment by: Zenon Mocarski

My apologies, the editor is correct and I mistyped the number. It is the OGT (Operation Game Thief) line and is, indeed, 24 hours. It is (800) 352-0700. Not 353, as I incorrectly wrote. The Operation Game Thief 24-hour line can be used for more than just game violations.

Editor's Note: To clarify for our readers, Zenon Mocarski is the Public Information Officer with the Kingman office of Arizona Game and Fish.

Thank you for your note Mr. Mocarski. We will try to contact you for official confirmation on your information. According to the Arizona Game and Fish website, the Operation Game Thief hotline is "only for reporting hunting and fishing violations." For all other inquiries readers are directed to call Customer Service, which is a link to the main Game and Fish contact page that contains phone numbers for daytime business use. We will look into this further to clarify whether the Operation Game Thief hotline can be used for after-hours animal rescue requests. If this is the case, we would hope that Game and Fish would make this clear on their website.

Posted: Friday, June 01, 2012
Article comment by: Reed Winfrey

Officer Rodriguez is an outstanding officer and not one to just walk away from someone, or something, in need. He has proven himself many times. Thank you sir for tending to buisness.

As for the fire department for responding and requesting additional support, you too should be commended for serving the best interest of our town.

Everyone in this story did, "the right thing" and we are so lucky to live in such a place where folks care enough to turn around and get involved.

Just shows the folks in Arizona do care about the future of others.

My personel thanks to all involved.


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Thank You!!

I cannot thank you enough for sharing this story. How moving! I am a huge animal advocate and for these understaffed departments to take the added time to care for this little being warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye.
Thank you to all for taking the time to care for these beautiful little creatures!


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Bob Kane

Very touching story. I'm just glad Frank Morrison remembered to steer the content back where it belongs.
Thanks for the vitriol in an otherwise sweet comment section.


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Larry T

It just shows how animals can bring people together to do good.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Zenon Mocarski

The cutline under the photo is not correct. Game and Fish does have a 24-hour call line. (800) 353-0700.*

*Editor's note: The 800 number this reader provided is not a Game and Fish phone number. It is the toll-free number for The Folio Society, a society dedicated to the love of good books. This phone number is incorrectly posted on several resource sites and causes confusion. The only toll-free hotline number we are aware of that is associated with Game and Fish is for Operation Game Thief, which is to report poaching or suspicious activity. That number is 1-800-352-0700. We are not aware of a current 24-hour line dedicated to after-hour animal rescues.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: touched my heart

whatever you do to the least of these...

a heartwarming show of love and kindness. LOVE IT!


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Sandy Stober

Wonderful to see so many positive comments. Usually all you see is negative. Well done P.V.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Pretty Bird

Good job to this couple for saving this amazing creature. It is good that the police, animal control and the bird handler became involved and found the nest this owl fell from. Thank you to all who-who cared. Great story.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Class Act

To the group of police, fire and rescue personnel involved, thank you. That was a real classy gesture going above and beyond your normal duties to care for an animal. Kudos to you Officer Rodriguez for following thru on your word and assisting after the family left. You could have given up but you didn't and that shows what a truly good person you are. I'm no hippie tree huggin' animal fanatic but it warms this old Veteran's heart when I see a group of people come together to help when not intervening would have meant certain death.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: carol p

AWESOME!!!! wow there are good people in this world. Anyone even questioning this, well good luck to you if you ever need help, that is all I have to say. This showed the human side to humanity! Well done everyone involved.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: the wino

Thank You! to the P.V.F.D.!
This owl is responible to our RODENT MANAGEMENT.
Knowing that there are 3- new owlets is GREAT NEWS.


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: John Hardison

Bravo to all that was involved.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Morrison

My eternal thanks and appreciation to all of you who came together and did something more than the "easy" option. For those who are concerned about the expenditure of resources for this effort, I have very strong, harsh language for you. You bring to mind the death panels of ObamaCare and other heartless, soul-less concerns which nauseate me. I hope you have the time to reconsider your positions and make a positive change. The world will be a better place for it.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: pablo noname

Cool!

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: One That KNOWS

THIS PROVES THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE IN THIS AREA.
THE BABY WAS SURE WORTH SAVING. IF IT WERE HUMAN, WOULD YOU NOT SAVE IT?
JUST A BIRD BUT A LIVING THING, THAT DESERVED HELP.


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Prescott Owl Lover

Great effort on all parts! Thank you to the Haddads, Officer Rodriguez, Animal Control, CYFD, the bird handler, and everyone else who helped.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: The Rev

Often I talk down PVPD, not today. Prescott Valley Police Department well done.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: CAROLE THURMAN

I AGREE THAT IT WAS WORTH IT TO SAVE THE OWLS LIFE. HATS OFF TO THE COUPLE WHO CAME BACK TO SAVE HIM & ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO GOT INVOLVED.

CAROLE THURMAN, PRESCOTT VALLEY


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Susie Moorman

Yes, thank the fire departments, police and bird handler but the most thanks should go to the couple who originally found the little fur baby with big eyes. If they would have not taken the time to stop, (especially at night, in the dark) we may have not been reading this long wonderful article.

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Nice Job Officer Rodriguez

You did a very good thing. Kudos.

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Cassandra B.

This brings tears to my eyes. Thank you to everyone who helped this baby find his way back to the nest. We read so many negative stories - this one is a welcome change. Thankfully the Haddads came along enabling the rescue effort to begin.

I cannot believe someone would be heartless as to say this was a waste of money. Shame on you!

Many thanks to everyone who saved this baby.




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