Squirrel expert!
Apr 10, 2013 | 3110 views | 5 5 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Pam O’Donnell’s March 27 letter to the editor in regard to feeding squirrels in local parks. I am not a squirrel expert, but I do know that they are not harmful critters, as some people make them out to be. They are sweet and easily domesticated animals. They would harm no one unless they felt threatened, the same as any other animal or human being. I feed squirrels in my backyard, I am proud to say. In fact my dog loves to watch them. As a child, back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s my mom would take us to the park, our pockets loaded with acorns and peanuts for the squirrels. It was fun and so nice to watch the squirrels in their natural habitat, not ours. We also would take a ride down 169 to feed the goats and horses. We also fed pigeons and the stray cats. We all did, and no one complained.

Today people have an issue with feeding feral and stray cats, pigeons, and squirrels. What’s next? Will people complain about someone buying a homeless person a slice of pizza because they are a nuisance? I don’t even want to get started on the problem people have with pit bulls and other supposedly dangerous breeds. Give me a break.

This city does not just belong to us; it belongs to the wildlife as well. Instead of making your children afraid of wildlife and animals in general, teach then to love and respect them. Some small children are afraid of Santa Claus. Should we stop leaving cookies and milk, too?

KATHY LAYTOS


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offended101
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April 11, 2013
did the 3 people who liked this post even read the original post regarding a 4 year old being attacked? did this kathy person even read it? does kathy have kids or is she a loner who lives alone with her animals? HOW ABOUT LOVING ALL OF GODS CREATURES, how about you sit at the park and witness the crazy activity by these squirrels before you bring everyone including santa clause in your response, what happened to the easter bunny or the tooth fairy? intelligence is shown when you submit your opinion with "kids don't like santa clause" .....not sure why anyone is ever responding to someone who calls homeless people as a nuisance....so offensive you are as a human being, LOVE ALL OF GODS CREATURES NOT JUST 4 legged ones, thats the correct way to show love and respect.....

offended101
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April 11, 2013
AMEN
joannabud
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April 11, 2013
I'm sorry but comparing feeing wildlife to feeding homeless is completely asinine. It is against the law for a reason. And if you read the original post correctly, her 4 year old daughter was posing no threat to the squirrel. It jumped onto her leg and she's 4! That would be freighting experience for me and I'm 26. I could only imagine how both the mother and child felt. Glad that she is physically ok and I hope she wants to return to the park soon.
radishes
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April 10, 2013
its against the law to feed wildlife, it is not against the law for children to play in a park.
Ckh
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April 11, 2013
I have always brought my children to the park with a bag of peanuts to feed the squirrels. After reading he letter from Pam O'Donnell , I will not be feeding them anymore.

Here's my research:

Squirrels are typically not important vectors of disease. But, squirrels do have teeth and will bite!!! I don't think, but I might be wrong, there's hasn't been any documented cases of rabies transmission from squirrels. But like all animals, squirrels can carry parasites, they leave behind excrement, and they can leave both in your attic. Squirrel droppings, like pretty much any wildlife dropping, are associated with Leptospirosis and Salmonella. Therefore should be removed and sanitized properly. But, I'll take mrs. Odonnel's advice. This woman is one of the biggest animal lovers that I know. She was a driving force in the development and upkeep of the dog park on first street.

And aside from all of this, I could not imagine walking through the park with a baby in a stroller, happily eating a cookie, only to have a squirrel run up his leg and take his food. Squirrels have sharp nails and teeth. It's that simple. The child would be hurt and petrified. Oh, and yes, I leave cookies for Santa, but, no, I don't share my lunch with seagulls on a crowded beach. Common sense.