COLUMN: Trio joins forces to save life of trapped owl

“Animals too, are created by the same loving hand of God which created us. … It is our duty to protect them and to promote their well-being.”
– Mother Teresa

“Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough.
We have a higher mission – to be of service to them wherever they require it.”
– St. Francis of Assisi

I had an early morning phone call a few weeks ago from my friend Terri Lynn. Bless her heart, she thinks I know everything, so she called for my advice.
“Hey, Leslie Criss, I was about to leave my house for work this morning and I noticed something in our yard,” she told me in her fun Southern accent. “As I got closer I saw it was a big owl and it’s caught in a steel trap. What can I do?”
Contrary to what Terri Lynn thinks, I don’t know everything. However, I did know the answer to her question.
“Call Dr. John Morris at Saltillo Small Animal Hospital,” I told her. “He’ll know what to do.”
Dr. Morris is one of those cool veterinarians who helps rehabilitate orphaned and injured wildlife, as well as doctor folks’ cats, dogs, birds and other domestic pets.
I gave her his number, but he was with a patient. Terri Lynn was told to throw a blanket over the owl and trap, put it in a box and take it to Morris’ clinic. What she did was call me back.
“I’m not going to touch that owl. I don’t know what to do.”
I called my friend, Cheryl, who loves owls. She headed over to Terri Lynn’s, camera in hand.
Terri Lynn left work and met Cheryl to help with the owl rescue.
Apparently, Terri Lynn was wowed by Cheryl’s calmness and her ability to also calm the frightened owl. She removed the old, rusty steel trap from its talon, put the bird in a box and headed north to Saltillo, but not before taking some photographs.
I talked to Dr. Morris last Wednesday to check on the owl.
He assured me the feathered one did fine after having its injured talon removed and being treated with antibiotics. He also told me the owl has been released and is flying free.
I’m appreciative of folks who take action when they see an animal in need. I’m glad Terri Lynn didn’t just go to work and let the owl struggle in the trap. I’m glad Cheryl loves owls and was eager to help. I’m glad we have Dr. John Morris around to do the doctoring, the rehabbing and the releasing.
And somewhere out there, there’s a beautiful barred owl that’s also glad.

Contact Leslie Criss at leslie.criss@djournal .com or (662) 678-1584.

Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal