The Suburbs Are Kicking the Animals Out. Enter the Animal Rescue Squad.


“People are going to be interacting with wildlife a lot more than they are right now,” said Mr. Crawford. He estimates that by the end of 2019, Animal Help Now will have been used in 40,000 wildlife emergencies across the country.

A week after the first attempt, Ms. Rooker was back at Laurel Park. This time, there was a scrum of additional helpers, including Ms. Crandall, along with two kayaks. There were, however, no geese.

Just before the group split off to search nearby ponds for the flock, Darcell Patterson, a sneaker-shod woman, intercepted the volunteers. Ms. Patterson, 66, has walked around the park every day for the last four years, she said, and brings dried food pellets with her to “establish rapport” with the resident ducks and geese.

She matter-of-factly informed the group that the injured goose is named Gary, and that his leg has been wrapped in that line for a couple of years. Gary, it seems, can survive on his own, and has not yet been ostracized from his avian comrades.

Ms. Crandall decided to let Gary be for now, knowing he was under Ms. Patterson’s watchful eye. As long as the bird can still fly, walk and eat, Ms. Crandall explained, the stress of relocation isn’t justifiable yet.

“Gary’s got friends in high places,” Ms. Patterson said.

While it wasn’t the Disney-worthy victory that the volunteers may have had in mind this go-round, it was still a victory by their standards.


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