I want to thank everyone who responded to my letter and the recent articles in the local newspapers (Times July 8) about the baby raccoons my daughter and I had raised. I received many positive replies. I also want to thank the media for bringing this sad tragedy to light.
Its obvious that the reason this incident took place was due to the fact that there just simply arent enough wildlife rehabilitators, and there is a lack of finances for these generous people. The state Department of Environmental Conservation and county Board of Health budgets have all been cut, and to wait for finances to come to aid, is never going to happen.
In a recent article I read, 58 animals in St. Lawrence County were submitted last year for rabies testing. Out of that 58, only four tested positive for rabies. Thats 54 perfectly healthy animals that were destroyed. Im sure the DEC doesnt enjoy doing this, but there must be some other way. A place to quarantine the animals would solve this devastating problem.
My daughter and I have decided to start a nonprofit foundation to help finance wildlife rehabilitators and encourage people to take an interest in becoming one. This would be the main goal, and I have many ideas to do this, but I need help. Animal lovers come from all walks of life, and I would be interested in hearing from all of you who were touched by my letter. I am looking for people interested in being board members, people experienced in starting nonprofit organizations, veterinarians willing to donate time, rehabilitators and simply anyone willing to get involved in any way. If you would like to help in starting this foundation, I would like to hear from you. I can be contacted at 353-2082.
Anyone wanting to make a monetary donation can send it to North Country Savings Bank in Potsdam under the FLO Foundation. All donations are equally appreciated, and I am more than willing to come pick up items and distribute them. Anything helps. Thank you.
David A. LaShomb
Editors Note: Mr. LaShomb found the raccoons starving on a roadside and cared for them several days until the DEC took the animals, which were killed and tested by the Health Department for rabies.