I crossed an animal in distress in Richmond…

KK says hello to one of two visiting Canadian geese, one which had an injury on Monday, June 10, 2019. (Photo: Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

Have you ever crossed an animal in distress in our community and wondered what to do? A quick call to Contra Costa Animal Services does the trick. Having a veterinary technician as a neighbor helps, too.

My story unfolded this morning about 8:15 a.m., when my wife and I looked out our window in Richmond’s North & East neighborhood and spotted two beautiful Canada geese, a male and female, on our front lawn.

Today is my birthday, and I remarked online that this unexpected visit was my gift. We went out to say hello and noticed something amiss. They didn’t fly off when we approached them. They kept walking off in the middle of the street. My wife, KK, then noticed the female goose’s right wing was broken. I called Contra Costa Animal Services’ emergency hotline, which is (925) 608-8400. The hotline is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, but not Sundays and Mondays, and so I was directed by a recording to call Contra Costa Sheriff’s dispatch at (925) 646-2441.

The dispatcher summoned an Animal Services Officer to our location and asked questions about the bird’s injuries. I found the dispatcher friendly and professional. An Animal Services officer responded in exactly 20 minutes.

I crossed an animal in distress in Richmond...
An Animal Services officer responded to a call about the injured goose in exactly 20 minutes.

In the meantime, I went to summon my neighbor, the vet tech, who responded to help without question. She requested a towel and animal carrier, and I fetched them, and then she quickly captured the goose, wrapped it in the towel and placed it into the carrier at about the same time as the Animal Services officer arrived.

These Animal Services officers have very challenging jobs. They respond to all sorts of potentially dangerous situations, from rabies control to animal cruelty and human bite investigations. They also help with animal rescue and, unfortunately, reports of deceased animals. Anyhow, they’ve got a lot going on, and the officer who responded in our case was very polite and professional.

The officer gently placed the goose in a specialized cardboard box and transferred her to Lindsey Wildlife Museum Hospital in Walnut Creek.

I was pleased by both the process and outcome for helping an animal in our community in distress. For my birthday, I was not only visited by a gorgeous goose, but also some helpful humans.

For more info on Animal Services, click its website here.