By Nikki Silverstein
We’re welcoming 2016 with two heartwarming stories of folks who care about animals and WildCare in San Rafael, an agency that helps Marinites care for their creatures. (We’ll resume our regular cynical column next week.) First, we have Juanita the Mallard Duck, who was found as an abandoned duckling and lovingly raised by the residents and staff of Bello Gardens, an assisted living facility in San Anselmo. For two years, tame and affectionate Juanita brightened the days of the seniors at Bello Gardens. Then, two months ago, during a thunderstorm, Juanita escaped her enclosure and ended up at WildCare in San Rafael. As much as they wanted to return the duck to Bello Gardens, federal law prohibited it, as a mallard is classified as a wild animal. With the help of Congressman Jared Huffman, proper permits were obtained and Juanita was home with her family just in time for Christmas.
Next, we recognize San Rafael Police officer Phil Melodia, who accidentally ran over a black crow with his police-issued mountain bike. With the help of a Good Samaritan, the officer placed the injured bird in a box and transported him to WildCare. Though the crow’s wing suffered a compound fracture, over the next two months, volunteers at WildCare nurtured the crow back to health. Last week, Office Melodia, who loves animals, witnessed the crow’s release and watched him fly into the blue yonder. Thank you to all of our heroes who support Marin’s animals in need.
Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to [email protected]