Blog Archive January 2009

Bad Luck Comes in Threes

Posted on 18 January 2009 by Dawn Keller

Admittedly, I don't really believe in bad luck - or good luck for that matter. I believe that "luck" is generally made through hard work, perseverance and sound decision making. Did I say believe? Perhaps I meant believed?

So now I can only hope that bad luck comes in threes - not fours, fives, sixes or more. And if you didn't jump ahead reading this posting, then I'll give you a hint and re title this posting "We Need an Ark, Revisited, Revisited".

Those of you that follow our blog know that our Itasca location flooded in September and we were forced to evacuate over 40 animals from outdoor caging - thankfully without animal casualties. Cages were flooded over 2-1/2 feet deep with some cages up to my mid-chest. Our dedicated volunteers toiled over 250 hours scrubbing and sanitizing caging before the animals could be returned outside. We are planning to repair physical damage to cages this spring.

Enter December 27th with the polar melt and Itasca flooded again. This time the deepest cages were flooded to my knees. Still, we evacuated many animals to the safety of the building and there were no animal casualties. This flood was complicated by cold weather that will prevent us from returning many animals to outdoor caging until after the spring thaw so that we can appropriately scrub and sanitize cages.

Moving on to January 17th at Northerly Island in days following bitter cold during which the city of Chicago was apparently emulating the North Pole................. On the day that we're supposed to participate in the Chicago Park District's Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island one of our volunteers arrives at our downtown facility to find that the Polar ice cap has melted - or perhaps it's just a burst (formerly frozen) pipe in the Men's Room.

Our facility at Northerly Island that we've worked on for so many hours and put any spare money and resources into fixing up for the last three years, is under 1-1/2 inches of water. Our beautiful wood laminate floor is ruined. The flooring guy says that all of the boards will buckle over the next few days and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Our cabinets are wicking up water. Just when the facility is almost done, we feel that we're back to square one.

Water may be essential to life, but I'm not feeling the love.

Know anyone that will donate flooring and installation?


Letter to Animal Planet - Follow up to Quizno’s Coyote

Posted on 7 January 2009 by Dawn Keller

As promised, below is the primary content sent to Animal Planet. I am still networking in order to identify a contact at Animal Planet high enough to effectuate, or at least champion, the requisite change....please advise if you know anyone at the network.



I was extremely disturbed to see the show “Weird, True and Freaky” last night, which featured the story of the coyote that wandered into a Quizno’s in downtown Chicago. Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation was directly involved in this incident. In fact, I personally examined this coyote when it returned to our Barrington facility. The depiction in the show might have been weird and freaky, but it was almost completely untrue. The show sensationalized the incident and presented an unfair depiction of the individual coyote and the species in general. Coyotes are already the subject of irrational fear and persecution – this show’s misrepresentations could only promulgate further irrational phobias.

If “Weird, True and Freaky” had any intention of accurately representing this incident, then it should have contacted those that were directly involved rather than utilizing alleged “Wildlife Experts” whose suppositions regarding this incident conveniently dramatized the show’s fictionalized account.

Until last night, I have always viewed Animal Planet to be an educational source that accurately represents wildlife and conservation issues. The experience we had taping Backyard Habitat reinforced my positive impressions of the network. Sadly, “Weird, True and Freaky” refuted prior positive beliefs. Animal Planet should be ashamed to run this type programming.

Quizno’s Coyote on Animal Planet Postscript

Posted on 6 January 2009 by Dawn Keller

My apologies to everyone we told about the Animal Planet show "Weird, True and Freaky" which is running a segment on the Quizno's coyote Adrian (see our blog archives for his original and accurate story). Please also note that we have deleted our original blog posting regarding the show so as not to refer further people to watch this show.

In my opinion, not only did the show fail to accurately depict Adrian, his physical state and the likely reasons why he entered the Quizno's, but in the spirit of sensational "reporting", the show also did a grave disservice to the species. Adrian was a perfectly healthy coyote who became extremely frightened and typically reticent after mistakenly wandering into Chicago's downtown loop. Further, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health website, there has not been a confirmed case of rabies in a coyote in Illinois in the last 18 years - to imply that this animal had rabies is simply irresponsible.

I will be writing to Animal Planet to voice my extreme displeasure over these inaccuracies. I will post a copy of this letter on the blog.