We want to form a group, possibly a registered Organization with main objectives to secure protection, civilized and humane treatment for Squirrels.
Long and short term Goals:
1.To secure proper medical care to the animals in need, who can be healed or treated
2.To criminalize any form of cruelties to Squirrels
3.To properly implement laws to protect them and to enforce efficiently all the existing laws and by-laws which protect Squirrels
4.To make illegal the individual use of traps (even humane traps) for Squirrels -there are and should be services available to relocate the Squirrels, if desired
5.To held accountable the various Animal Control centres, if killing of Squirrels occurs, abuse or mistreatment
6.To held accountable in the same way the Lawn-Care, Grounds-keeping, Landscaping Companies and any other Outdoor or Environmental Companies if their
activities are conducted in such way that cause harm and unnecessary suffering to Squirrels
7.To bring the status of Squirrels at the adequate level- that of North American Wildlife, not "nuisance animals" or "rats," by educating the population about
Squirrels, their importance and their habitat, as well as by finding humane solutions to deal with various problems which Squirrels living among us can create
8.To make an offence under Public Nuisance and Municipal Code actions intended to harm Squirrels, such as: "Go get them"-dog stimulation on Squirrels, going
out with the dog with the intention to take it in places with Squirrels to hunt them, etc....
9.To organize and conduct activities designed to help them, such as feeding them in winter or helping them with their nest.
10.To sterilize them when and where it is necessary.
11.To obtain cooperation and warmer attitude toward them from other Animal Welfare Organizations.
And much more...
We are looking for people who want to participate; everybody with knowledge and/or experience in organizing groups and animal-related activities, organizing
and producing newsletters or anything helpful is welcomed. Anybody who wants to help in any other way, or simply wants to join us is welcomed as well.
There is not any financial compensation.
The due date is April 30, 2002. Please send a short letter with the reasons why you want to participate and what you can do, if any. Here is the address:
253 College St., # 459, Toronto, Ontario, and M5T 2R5 - Canada.
ISSUES AND ASPECTS ABOUT SQUIRRELS
In a famous statement, Gandhi said: "You can judge a nation according to the way treats its own Animals."
Perhaps the most significant species of Animals in North America is the Squirrels. They are part of every corner of the continent, living in urban and rural
areas and in wilderness.
They live in large numbers in other parts of the World, such as most European forests.
Important to note: Their existence in large numbers was a major factor in developing and maintaining World's forests, THE SQUIRRELS BEING
ONE OF THE FEW SPECIES OF ANIMALS WITH DIRECT CONTRIBUTION IN DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING THE FORESTS DURING MILLIONS
OF YEARS, by planting various nuts. Their existence as species is appreciated to began about 35- million years ago.
It is time for us to have the maturity and common sense to understand and appreciate their major, vital importance for us and for the Earth as a whole, and
to stop giving them the "pests" status, associating Squirrels with rats (both are rodents), savaging and abusing them.
If they chew the roof to keep warm for winter or eat the bulbs from the garden, desperate of hunger, we have to remember - we breathe our air because
of Squirrels, in part.
And because we owe them so much, it is our very duty to protect them from abuses, to treat them humane and civilized and to compensate them from
taking over their habitat by helping them with food and nests.
If they are "too many" -which is not the case- there is always the possibility of sterilization, not poisoning, killing or (barbarian) starving them and
unleashing the dogs on them and their babies.
Do you know that: there are about 2000species of rodent Animals, all part of the large Rodentia Order, this being almost half the number of all the
existing species of Animals?
The beaver is "rodent" and it is nothing wrong with being rodent.
PROBLEMS WHICH SQUIRRELS HAVE
-The Urban Squirrel starves most of the time, due to lack of natural food in cities, such as acorn, wild fruits, chestnuts and other wild nuts and seeds
available in wilderness. During winter, Squirrels do not hibernate; the Squirrels in wilderness feed themselves with the acorns, chestnuts and wild nuts
felt on the ground and covered by snow. The Urban Squirrel does not have such a food supply for winter, and starves horrible. This is why we must feed
Squirrels in cities, as much as possible, particularly in winter months.
The amount of food for a healthy Squirrel is one pound every week, or his own weight in food /week.
What you can do:
Feed them. Feed first the ones around your house. Buy peanuts or walnuts (20 pounds of peanuts are $25, which is not too much), buy a 20-pounds bag
every winter months -Dec,Jan,Feb ,Mar and Apr. And go in the park of your choice and feed them. Do not listen City's advises; the Squirrels starve
horribly and need food.
Squirrels are savaged by dogs, many times are not killed, but hurt and left to die long, painful deaths. This in NOT acceptable.
For every society, to put the dog to chase, hurt and kill the local animals and birds around looks savage and it is.
The dog's role is to bring protection, company and friendship to its owner, not to be used as an aggressive weapon against humans and animals.
The dog it is not a natural predator for Squirrels, Squirrel's natural predators being wild animals and birds.
What you can do:
-Write or phone to your Councillor or City Mayor and ask to implement and enforce strictly and efficiently the laws and by-laws, which require leash on
dogs in Parks and public places. Ask them to provide adequate spaces for dogs' exercise leash-free, spaces without animals and people. Such
spaces can be empty fields, enclosed by wired fences. If leash -free in any other place, the dog must have full-body muzzle.
-If you see dog owners who refuse to comply, talk to them, yell at them or report them; do not be passive.
-If you work in a building surrounded by Squirrels, talk to the grounds-keepers and let them know that the squirrels are protected, is illegal to hurt or to kill
them and you are a Squirrel-lover who takes very seriously what happens to them.
-Talk to the Security Guards and let them know that you work in the building and you don't like to see dogs roaming loose around and chasing Squirrels.
Let them know that you don't like cruelties toward Squirrels and if they see anything to inform you or to call the Police or Humane Society or SPCA. ! In Toronto, Ontario, none of the Organizations mentioned above is doing anything if the animal subjected to cruelty is "A SQUIRREL". What a
-Do the same talking to the Superintendent, Security Guard and Management in the building where you live.
Be always polite but firm.
Would anybody thing about the possibility that one day, may be not too far in future, Squirrels would became extinct?
-Few centuries ago, Dodo, the large bird that couldn't fly, was extinct - by humans with their dogs and pigs.
-Recently, the Passenger Pigeon was extinct as well - we killed them ALL, in any ways we could.
Both of the above examples happened at times when our destructive potential wasn't so developed, was in a rudimental stage. Today we have the
technology to increase hundreds times the destruction and, very unfortunate, this new potential it is used freely, with little competent control and with
In late 1990's, National Geographic Magazine published the article "In praise of Squirrels" in which the author stated that in only one hunting
season, in only one state, New York, were hunted about 500000 Squirrels. If the hunting goes on at the same ratio, maybe we need only several years before won't be any Squirrel left.
It is time to SEE IT before happening and to actively fight to STOP IT.
FORMS OF ANIMAL CRUELITIES TO SQUIRRELS
Which I personally witnessed during five years of work with Squirrels and I found particularly atrocious among many forms of cruelties to animals. Please note
that in many cases are babies involved, and that the cruelties are totally unnecessary ( the animals are not killed for fur, food or scientific
research-are tortured and killed for nothing).
The following are only few examples:
-At one powerful institution belonging to City of Toronto, the Squirrels and their babies were buried alive under a wooded deck when the Management
decided to cut their access to children's playground.
-Near another building belonging to a highly reputed Toronto educational institution I found a Squirrel caught on a wild grape vine and stepped on with a
boot, to death.
-On the grounds of another highly reputed institution in Toronto,I found a Squirrel still alive, probably trapped and left there with no food or water, or probably
subjected to various totally unnecessary experiments, reduced at skeleton look and with terrorized eyes begging for mercy.
In the same place I found another one with her teeth pulled out, two of her legs broken and her spinal cord severed -was still alive.
-In Dec.,1999 I spotted a baby Squirrel (born in fall) in a central Toronto park; he was caught by a dog and squeezed until his colon went out of the body.
He was living like that two more months, in -30 to -40 C grades in Jan. and Feb. , his colon swelling and crushing under cold. He died at middle of
March, and the death came as a blessing.
I do strongly believe that the dog-owner (a female) who amuses herself causing such suffering to a baby animal should be put in jail, without hesitation.
Unfortunately, there are not laws that can do that. One of the main purposes of creating a group is to seek ways to legally and efficiently punish such
-In Dec., 1997, in the same park, a Squirrel was caught by dog and her leg broken, in Christmas day. In Christmas Eve she was alone in the tree, crying
in agonizing pain, in snow and cold, the whole night. She died early in the next morning.
-In Oct., 2000, near Toronto General Hospital was a mother Squirrel with five little babies: three brown, one black (I named him Billy) and one grey. A
young couple visiting from Germany began feeding regularly the babies. Days later we started to find them, one by one, mutilated, still alive, on the
ground. First was Billy, with his fur wet with blood from dog's teeth, his spinal cord broken and both back legs paralysed. He died during the night. Last
was the smallest one, Bebe, a little brown baby, with one of his back legs broken, the fur wet with blood and his usually shiny eyes darkened in pain.
He died next day.
During the month of Oct., all five babies were killed one by one by that dog trained by its owner in hunting and hurting babies Squirrels.
Also these are acts of bestial animal cruelties conducted in purpose to torture and cause suffering to babies animals, in Toronto and probably in most of
other N. American cities and provinces there are not laws which punishes these abuses and cruelties and in Toronto the Org. for animal protection
(Humane Society and SPCA) do not "take" cruelties to Squirrels. What a shame!
Many times I found orphaned babies Squirrels whose mothers were killed by dogs. I could rescue very few of them, others died from starvation after long,
agonizing days. If we are touched by animals suffering, we do not tolerate cruelties to animals, we are sensitive at the cry of helpless, orphaned baby-animal or at the
desperate cry of a mother whose baby is killed under her eyes, we cannot ignore the plight of Squirrels.
IS TIME TO ACT!
Due to centuries-old prejudice and victimization of Squirrels and to negativism toward them based mostly in ignorance, it is hard to achieve fast results,
but there are several things you can do successfully:
1.Have and show a strong positive attitude toward Squirrels among your friends, neighbours, and colleags....
2.Write to your local or national Humane Society and ask to press charges of Cruelty to Animals to anybody who causes unnecessary suffering, in any form
(including with dogs) to a Squirrel. If you know a person doing so, ask them to charge this person.
3.Write to your politicians ¨Ccouncillor, mayor, MPP, etc...- and ask them to implement and enforce laws and by-laws which secure more protection to Squirrels
4.Write to your local and national Animal Welfare organizations and ask them to consider the Squirrels' issue and to include it in their active working agenda.
5.Write to PETA and ask them to consider Squirrels and to work for their protection and ethical treatment. PETA is one of the best among Animal Welfare
6.Write to your Newspaper
7.Inform everybody about Squirrels' positive role -forests planters, international tourist attraction- and about their problems and how they are abused
While all of the actions should be legal and all the letters polite, don't forget that not always the Government "see the issues with right eyes", particularly
with regard at Animals and their welfare, but always the Government has strong theories to support themselves.
Our role it is not to "argue" with the Government, but to make our point known and our voices heard, no-matter if the response is negative. Your voice and
your letter counts and you are not alone.
Remember that, also repressed due to negativism and stereotype, there is a strong positive public sentiment for Squirrels in N.America.
-you spotted one or more Squirrels , somewhere, with any skin disease. Very easy. Be a casual homeopathic vet. Give them Echinacea -and-Golden-Seal
tincture (with a medium concentration of alcohol), one-two times /day, 7-10 drops each time for 7 days consecutively. After each time, give him a grape
or two (must-the tincture needs water). You should see the healing after two weeks.
-if you live or work in a building with basement level and is likely Squirrels can go down and cannot go back up, tie a rope at the main level; at the other end
of the rope fix a brick or a rock wrapped in plastic bag and tie the bag. Then slowly release down to the basement the end of the rope with weights.
In this way, the Squirrel has a way of going back up using the rope fixed by weights.
-pick a group of Squirrels outside your home (park or other public areas) and help them with everything they need: food, medication, protection, love. Yes,
Squirrels are very receptive and responsive at humane love. They are affectionate, kind and they will never forget you if you are a good friend. They are
very intelligent animals.
Some things about Squirrels' importance in N.America
- They contributed at maintaining, developing and creating the forests, in this way maintaining acceptable Oxygen level for life.
- They were used for food by first settlers and later their pelts were used for various transactions and debts payments to government.
- During wars, were used in posters to increase donations and to mask the real combative intentions of the army (the soldiers explained their
firearms as being used to hunt Squirrels).
- At present they are of great importance for tourism, being used as an important tourist attraction
- Most important, they are loved by those who knew them and they are our connection with the Wild.
Don't you feel so privileged versus the rest of the world for having Squirrels in open, in your City or Town, when billions of others spend their entire life
without having the chance to see a Squirrel? The ones who want to see Squirrels pay heavy money to take a trip to N.America, the only place in
the world where Squirrels are all over.
And because they are such an invaluable treasure for this Land, we should learn to appreciate them, if not to love them. It is our duty to protect them,
respect them, and treat them humanely and with dignity. It is our duty to give them the status, which they deserve: that of valuable Wildlife species
living among us.
Now is the time to put an end to centuries -old victimization and prejudice at which we subjected this species of Wild Animals - the largest and most
significant North American species.
Some informative material to read about Squirrels: "Nuts about Squirrels", author Richard E. Mallery.