This poor soul has a horrible tale to tell. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time with ignorant people. She was found in a house by a woman and called to her husband to help her CAPTURE the bat and remove it from the house. Well the husband felt the need to be MANLY and wanted to KILL IT! She refused to let him and told him that she was going to set it outside. Well she began to throw Nerf™ darts at it to make it fly so she could catch it. Well it did fly and went into the next bedroom, their children's bedroom (but the kids were not around) and as soon as it landed the husband threw a pillow sham over the helpless bat and began hitting the pillow sham with a 2x4. It would have been actually better if he HAD killed the poor bat, but all he did was break one of the wings in several places. And this is just the beginning of the torture this poor thing had to ensure. The woman, to spite her husband, said that since he was a jerk and hurt the bat, SHE was going to keep it and make it all better. Yet she had NO idea what she was doing. By the time she had called me, she said that she had the bat in her possession for a WEEK! I went through all the usual protocols.
ME: If you have had it for a week, have you been using gloves to handle?
Woman: Oh yes! ALWAYS!
ME: OK...Did the bat bite anyone at any time?
Woman: No, he never tried to bite.
ME: Was the bat EVER handles with bare hands?
Woman: Oh no, we know all about rabies. We always wore gloves.
ME: Are you sure it is injured?
Woman: Oh yes. The wing is definitely broken. I wanted to clean up the wound but it would try to bite me so instead I would put it out on the grass every morning so it would walk about and get wet with the morning dew and then it would groom itself.
(My blood started to boil more... So she took an animal, with a broken wing...which is uses as front legs to walk. And you are MAKING the animal WALK on it's broken limb, every day...Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)
ME: OK...So you have had it for a week now. What have you been feeding it all this time?
Woman: Well... Up until yesterday I didn't feed it anything. I didn't know what to give it. So yesterday I have it some milk.
ME: Is it a baby? What kind of milk did you give it? Like baby formula or cow's milk from the fridge?
Woman: Just milk we had in the fridge.
(OK... so she was starving the poor bat for a WEEK. An animal with a very high metabolism. And then after a week of starvation, offered it MILK! Think of how painful it is for people who are lactose intolerant. I can't imagine how upset the poor bats stomach was. Especially after being empty for so long.)
ME: (Really fuming at this point after hearing the case and then her answers) OK so, where can we meet, etc...
So we prepare to meet in a parking lot and she gets out of her car with a Critter Keeper (small plastic container for pets) with a cloth in it, the bat and the bat it IN the container, sitting on a glove... She begins opening the container as I am watcher her and she is continuing with her story. She gentle slides her hand UNDER the glove as not to touch the bat and proceeds to tell me "We named him Henry..." And then my heart stopped... as the woman before me... took her finger... PET the bat with her BARE FINGER (NO GLOVE!!!) proceeded to pull the bat to her lips and KISSED the bat on the back and handed me the bat. My eyes nearly fell out of my head and jaw dropped to the ground at her ignorance. Could I believe that she had NEVER touched it before? Could I believe her that the kids never touched it? I could not believe much of anything other then the torture she put this poor bat through. So now, after all of this, I know the State will want to have the head of this poor bat. I took her home. Being a FEMALE that they named Henry, and cleaned up the wing and got a few good photos of her. Her face was so precious. She deserved a better life. She deserved to be a princess after undergoing what she went through. Her wing was so inflamed with infection she must have been in agony. So I have her pain medicine. I fed her a stomach full of healthy blended formula which she eagerly ate. And then put her in a comfy bat-pouch to sleep. Only I put her in a container to humanely euthanize her while she drifted off to sleep, the overdose of anesthesia slowed her heart til it stopped. She tested negative for rabies, of course. But at least her suffering had ended, She touched my heart so much she became the poster for many of my education programs on bats as well as a tattoo on my shoulder.
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